Tag Archives: interpretation


Stoning 3PMT-2015-017 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In 2 Tim 3:12 Paul seems to undermine postmillennialism, as I have been noting in this series of posts. Many commentators and theologians see this verse as the very antithesis of the victorious expectations of postmillennialism. But what is Paul actually saying? Is he countering the hope of gospel victory?

“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Tim 3:12)

We will look at this verse in its context. But once again, let’s recall how amillennial scholar James White views 2 Tim 3:12 (as he critiqued me in his webcast). At minute marker 16:39 he argues that Paul’s statement is “gnomic” that is, it is “a general statement of truth that is not limited to the days of Paul.” As such “it is a truth that is true as long as this age continues. As long as this age continues, all who live godly in Christ Jesus will continue to be persecuted.” (I recommend checking my last post for more comments by Dr. White.) Continue reading


FearPMT-2015-016 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my continuing, lengthy study of 2 Tim 3 and its use in the eschatological debate, we now come to perhaps Paul’s most significant — and misunderstood! — statement:

“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Tim 3:12)

This certainly seems to undermine the postmillennial hope in history. How can postmillennialism speak of the victory of the gospel leading to worldwide faith and righteousness among men — if all those who live godly in Christ are to be persecuted?

How did this study arise?

My study of this passage was prompted by apologist James White’s webcast critique of my views on 2 Timothy 3. Continue reading


Wolf sheepPMT-2015-014 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Some Christians believe that in 2 Tim 3 Paul’s imprisonment (2 Tim 1:16) and his expectation of his approaching execution (2 Tim 4:6–8), cause him to have a pessimistic outlook on history. They see 2 Tim 3 as a prophetic statement regarding the future expectations of Christianity in the world. They believe Paul is warning that we will always face “difficult times” (2 Tim 3:1) and that we will be overrun with “brutal, haters of good” (2 Tim 3:3).

But does Paul fear the future? Is he prophesying a relentless, downward collapse of human culture which inexorably leads to the persecution of the Christian faith? No, he does not. I believe that 2 Tim 3 has been misinterpreted when used in this manner. And I have been showing over the last eight articles the exegetical reasons why this passage does not contradict the long-term postmillennial expectation. Continue reading


False facePMT-2015-013 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The Apostle Paul presents us with helpful insights into the postmillennial hope. We see some of his strongest material (which serves as a good foundation for the postmillennial hope) in Rom 11 and 1 Cor 15. And yet Paul makes some statements that cause us to wonder about his long-term view of history. Second Tim 3 is deemed by the adherents to pessimistic eschatologies to be destructive of postmillennialism.

What are postmillennialists to say in response?


This is my eighth article in a study of this famous “last days” passage. Basically I have been pointing out that Paul is speaking to Timothy about issues he is facing in the first century. As with all of the New Testament Scripture, we may apply his statements beyond the first century — when similar conditions prevail. Yet, I do not believe Paul is prophesying that history will always be filled with “difficult times” until the end. Continue reading


PMT 2014-039 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In this article I continuing an expose of populist dispensationalism’s claim to consistent literalism. This study was begun in my last blog post (PMT 2014-038). This is an important argument that can be effectively used against dispensationalists. Unless, of course, they simply write you off as figurative, not being a real person. In which case, I don’t know what to tell you.

Continue reading


PMT 2013-033 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Early ChristiansWhen interpreting any biblical book of the Bible it is important to understand the audience to which it is directed. The evangelical interpreter should understand a passage’s grammar in light of its historical context, not despite it. At least three factors in Revelation emphasize the original audience and their circumstances. These are quite important for and relevant to the preterist position.

Historic Churches

First, in Revelation John is writing to particular, historic, individual churches that exist in his day. Revelation 1:4 provides a common epistolary opening: “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come.” In verse 11 he specifically names the seven churches to whom he writes: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodifcea. We know these cities as historical places containing actual churches. Continue reading