I HAVE TWO FORTHCOMING COMMENTARIES
(This notice was updated in November, 2020)
MY REVELATION COMMENTARY
Thanks for your interest in my Revelation commentary titled: The Divorce of Israel: A Redemptive-Historical Interpretation of Revelation. I completed its research and writing in early 2016 and submitted it to the publisher at that time. It will be a two-volume set of a little over 1800 pages.
The publisher is Tolle Lege Press. Due to the size of the work (two volumes, totaling 1700 pages), its complexity (deeply exegetical; voluminously footnoted; technical use of biblical languages; and so forth), and the unexpected reduction of Tolle Lege’s staff, it has taken them much longer than anticipated to complete.
However, they have just now had someone to come on board who is kick-starting the whole process. Jay Culotta is a computer-savvy typesetter who is using InDesign to complete the layout of the text by inserting the editor’s recommended changes, corrections, and so forth. Jay hopes to have it completed by the end of this year! He and I are on the phone a lot discussing details.
MY MATTHEW 21–25 COMMENTARY
I have also begun work on a commentary on Matthew 21–25, a discrete unit in Matthew’s Gospel. This is the narrative setting of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus’ climactic discourse of the five around which Matthew’s Gospel is constructed. The working title for this project is Olivet in Context: A Commentary on Matthew 21-25.
This literary unit is clearly marked off by Christ’s important movements (along with other editorial markers which I will present in my study): It opens with his coming (Gk.: erchomai, Matt. 21:1, 9) into Jerusalem (recorded for the only time in Matthew) to declare the judgment of the nation of Israel (Matt. 23:37–24:34). It closes with his coming (Gk.: erchomai, Matt. 25:31) to the world (in his Second Advent) to execute the judgment of all the nations (Matt. 25:31–46).
Thus, this distinct section in Matthew opens with prophecies about the conclusion of Israel’s special role in the history of the world (as the old covenant typological work ends). And it closes with the conclusion of world history itself (as the new covenant redemptive work is completed). All that is in between in Matthew 21–25 is designed to affirm his authority to do so — both over the nation of Israel and the nations of the world.
Consequently, as Matthew presents these crucial scenes: Jesus comes into Jerusalem in the presence of the Jewish crowds (Matt. 21:9) as the Messiah who will be rejected. Then at the end of this section, he comes to the world and gathers all nations before him, as the Lord who will judge all men, saving the elect and judging the non-elect. In this section, the transition from the AD 70 judgment of Israel to that which it pictures, the Second Advent at history’s end, occurs in Matt. 24:34-36.
This is a significant concern of Matthew since he is the only Gospel writer who provides Jesus’ Missionary Discourse, which limits the Disciples’ ministry to Israel. It is also significant in that Matt. 21-25 greatly emphasizes Jesus’ authority — an authority over Israel and the nations. This section is important to getting to Matthew’s conclusion: the Great Commission over all nations. Interestingly, Matthew intentionally ends his Gospel on an open note, with Christ on the earth giving his promise that he will be with his church “all the days” (literally). Unlike Luke, he does not mention his Ascension into heaven where he leaves the Disciples behind.
As one important feature of my commentary on Matthew 21–25, I will more fully draw out the transition occurring in Matthew 24:34–36 than in my The Olivet Discourse Made Easy. This is crucial for showing that Jesus is not simply a Jewish sage, interested only in the destiny of Israel and functioning as another John the Baptist, as it were. Rather, he is the universal Lord with all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18–19), determining the destiny of all men while functioning as the Lord of lords and King of kings.
The commentary will not be as large as the Revelation commentary. Nor will it be as small as The Olivet Discourse Made Easy. It will be “just right” — you might say, if you are a Goldilocks fan (as I am sure all of you are). I am aiming at somewhere around 300 pages. It will be semi-technical, but quite accessible. I hope to have it available by late 2021.
A couple of delays are slowing me down. First, I am updating my Olivet Discourse Made Easy by including the latter part of the Discourse, from Matt. 24:36–25:46. I had only alluded to this material in the previous edition — due to size considerations. This, of course, is doing double-duty by allowing me to do some advance research on the actual commentary on Matthew 21– 25.
A second thing slowing me down is I am editing and typesetting a new edition of an important Nineteenth-century preterist work that I very much want back in print. I will have more to say on this later.
Thanks for your interest in my writings!
Ken Gentry (Thanksgiving 2020)