PROTOLOGY & ESCHATOLOGY (1)

Creation book PMW-2020-111 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The postmillennial hope looks to the unfolding victory of Christ’s kingdom in history. In fact, the glorious dominance of his kingdom is the very goal of history. God’s plan was for man to exercise dominion over all creation (Gen 1:26–28). Immediately upon Adam’s Fall, God instituted redemption which was designed to crush the head of Satan and his kingdom (Gen 3:15). Continue reading

CHRISTMAS AND POSTMILLENNIALISM

PMW 2019-103 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Christmas is here, and quite appropriately it will be followed by a new year. Since Christ came to effect a new creation!

We must not forget the message of Christmas; we must take it with us in the new year God is granting us. So as we enter this season, let us consider the postmillennial hope embedded in Christmas. Unless my memory fails me, Bing Crosby sang: “I’m Dreaming of a Postmillennial Christmas.” If he did not, he should have! Whereas Elvis was apparently an amillennialist when he sang: “I’ll Have a Blue Christmas.” Which might explain the howling of the Jordanaires in the background of this song.

Postmillennialists can easily use Christmas texts to present the postmillennial hope. Continue reading

REVELATION’S DATE: EXTERNAL EVIDENCE (2)

PMW 2020-109 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

As I continue my series on the dating of Revelation, I will present two of the leading external witnesses for the late date: Irenaeus and Origen.

Irenaeus (A.D. 130-202)

Undoubtedly the most commonly used and strongest external objection to the early date of Revelation is the famous statement by Irenaeus (ca. A.D. 180) in book 5 of his Against Heresies. This statement is very early and seems clear and to the point. It occurs at the end of a section in which he is dealing with the identification of Revelation’s “666,” which Irenaeus applies to the Antichrist:

We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian’s reign.

Nevertheless, several problems reduce the usefulness of this statement for late date advocacy. Continue reading

REVELATION’S DATE: EXTERNAL EVIDENCE (1)

PMW 2020-108 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am continuing a study on the dating Revelation. In this article I will I provide some evidence from church history and tradition. I will begin with the positive indicators for an early date. After that, in the next article I will review the contrary evidence, which is so influential in the late date argument.

The Shepherd of Hermas

1. The Shepherd of Hermas is little known among evangelical laymen today. But in the first three centuries of the Christian era it was so influential that Irenaeus, Origen, Jerome and many others deemed it canonical. [1] It even appears in the Codex Sinaiticus, one of the best preserved ancient copies of the whole Bible.

Virtually all scholars agree that The Shepherd of Hermas draws upon Revelation as the source of its imagery — even late date advocates like H. B. Swete, R. H. Charles, and Robert Mounce. This would demand that Revelation be written, copied, and circulated prior to the composition of the Shepherd. Continue reading

REVELATION’S DATE: INTERNAL EVIDENCE (3)

PMW 2020-107 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The final evidence from Revelation’s self-witness that I will mention focuses on the relationship of the Jew to Christianity in Revelation. And although there are several aspects of this evidence, I will just briefly introduce it. We may illustratively refer to two important passages and their implications regarding:

Christianity and Israel

First, when John writes Revelation, by all appearances Christianity is in its early, formative, “Jewish” stage. Initially Christians tended to mingle with the Jews (since most of them were Jewish), considering themselves members of the true Israel, the “continuing Israel,” as it were. Continue reading

REVELATION’S DATE: INTERNAL EVIDENCE (2)

PMW 2020-106 Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In Revelation 17:9-10 John records a vision of a seven-headed Beast. In this vision we discover clear evidence that Revelation was written before the death of Nero (June 8, A. D. 68), well before the temple’s destruction in August, A.D. 70:

Here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

Perhaps no point is more obvious in Revelation than this: Rome is here symbolized by the seven mountains. After all, Rome is the one city in history that is recognized for its seven hills: the Palatine, Aventine, Caelian, Esquiline, Viminal, Quirinal, and Capitoline hills. The Roman writers Suetonius and Plutarch refer to the first century festival in Rome called Septimontium, i.e. the feast of “the seven hilled city.” The Coin of Vespasian (emperor A.D. 69-79) pictures the goddess Roma as a woman seated on seven hills. The famed seven hills of Rome are mentioned time and again by ancient pagan writers such as Ovid, Claudian, Statius, Pliny, Virgil, Horace, Propertius, Martial, and Cicero, as well as by Christian writers, such as Tertullian and Jerome. Indeed, “there is scarce a poet that speaks of Rome but observes it.” Continue reading

REVELATION’S DATE: INTERNAL EVIDENCE (1)

PMW 2020-105 Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

As I open my argument for the early dating of Revelation, I will first engage the internal indicators of time discoverable in Revelation. This engages the evidence from Revelation’s self-witness. In that I hold to the full inspiration and inerrency of Scripture, I am convinced that these are the most fundamental evidences. Later I will consider the external evidence, the material derived from church tradition. Generally, the late-date advocates begin with the evidence from tradition, and the early-date advocates with the evidence from self-witness. I am convinced that the late-date reliance upon external indicators is methodologically flawed in this book containing so many historical and cultural indicators. Continue reading