Category Archives: Temple

THE TEMPLE AS A TOOL OF EMPEROR WORSHIP (2)

PMW 2020-078 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.Emperor worship temple 2

In this second entry in an 8-part series I am arguing that the Jewish Temple in the first-century effectively functioned as tool of emperor worship, when understood spiritually.

Temple Abuse; Temple Transience

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

THE TEMPLE AS A TOOL OF EMPEROR WORSHIP (1)

Emperor worship temple 1PMW 2020-077 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In this 8-part series I will be arguing that the Jewish Temple in the first-century effectively functioned as tool of emperor worship, when understood spiritually. Let’s begin (it’s almost time for breakfast).

As John writes, 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; cf. Leon 8-11). 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; cf. Rev 5 Excursus). As noted above, the exercise of the Land beast’s authority is “in his [the Roman emperor’s] presence” (13:1a). Later in Rev 17 we will see Israel’s alliance symbolized by a harlot engaged in a drunken sexual orgy with the sea beast. Continue reading

MEASURING EZEKIEL’S TEMPLE

PMW 2020-033 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I appreciate the questions readers send to me. I regret that I am not able to answer them quickly, due to my schedule. However, here is one that is a favorite among dispensationalists. And it is an intriguing one.

Reader’s question:

You argue that John must be measuring an actual, historical temple in Rev 11:1-2. Yet Ezekiel measures a temple, even though it does not exist in history. This suggests that the temple does not need to exist for John to measure it. How do you explain this problem for your view?

My response:

Thanks for your perceptive question. Please consider the following response. Continue reading

THE TEMPLE’S DESTRUCTION IN REVELATION

PMT 2014-008 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

temple destroyedRev. 11:1–2: “Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, ‘Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.’”

Here in Rev 11 a voice commands John to measure the inner temple in the “holy city,” which must be Jerusalem (Isa 48:2; 52:1; Neh. 11:1–18; Mt 4:5; 27:53). This is the place where the Lord “was crucified” (Rev 11:8; cp. Lk 9:22; 13:32; 17:11; 19:28). In Rev 1:7 John states his theme (see earlier article) which is the judgment-coming of Christ against those who pierced him, i.e., the first-century Jews. Continue reading

DANIEL 7:13, MARK 9:1, AND ESCHATOLOGY (4)

PMW 2019-020 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I finally come to my last article in this four-part series. I have been explaining the significance of Daniel 7:13 for Jesus’ eschatological teaching as recorded in Mark’s Gospel.

My first three articles dealt with the meaning of Daniel 7:13 (it is an enthronement vision for the Son of Man), the influence of this verse on Jesus’ teaching in Mark (at Mark 13:26; 16:24), its backdrop for Mark 9:1 (indirect, but certain), and the expectation regarding when it will be dramatically demonstrated (in the first century while the Sanhedrin and several of the disciples are still alive). Continue reading

DANIEL 7:13, MARK 9:1, AND ESCHATOLOGY (3)

PMW 2019-019 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am engaged in a short series on the use of Daniel 7:13 by Jesus in Mark, particularly regarding its influence on Jesus’ statement in Mark 9:1.

In the first article I focused on the meaning of Daniel 7:13, which is widely misunderstood among evangelicals today. It is an enthronement vision that shows Christ entering into heaven to receive his kingdom. It does not refer to Jesus’ Second Coming to earth, as so many believe. The language itself will not allow it, for it says the Son of Man “came up to the Acient of Days / And was presented before Him.”

In my second article I dealt with the use of Daniel 7:13 in three key eschatological texts in Mark’s record of Christ’s teaching. Those verses include Mark 13:26 (in the Olivet Discourse) and 14:62 (Jesus’ statement before the high priest during his trial). Continue reading

DANIEL 7:13, MARK 9:1, AND ESCHATOLOGY (2)

PMW 20199-018 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last article I began a brief series on the influence of Daniel 7:13 on Mark 9:1. In that article I covered only one point of my six-step argument. I dealt with the vitally important issue of “The Meaning of Daniel 7:13 in Prophecy.”

I noted that, despite the great familiarity of this verse to most Christians, more often than not it is woefully misunderstood and misapplied by evangelical pastors and laymen. I argued that it does not speak of Jesus’ Second Coming back to earth at the end of history. Rather, it is an enthronement vision picturing Christ entering into heaven before God to receive authority and a kingdom.

With this interpretation in mind, I have laid the basic foundation for understanding Jesus’ use of it. But now, let us continue. Continue reading