Kenneth L. Gentry & Partial Preterism

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Kenneth L. Gentry :

Actually, all Christians--even dispensationalists--are preteristic to some extent. This is necessarily so because Christianity holds that a great many of the Messianic passages have already been fulfilled in Christ's first coming."

4/19: Christ's Resurrection and ours - "Unfortunately, a new Gnosticism is infecting the church: hyper-Preterism. One major feature of hyper-Preterism is its denial of a future physical resurrection of the believer at the end of history. As we shall see, this contradicts a major result of the resurrection of Christ. Before I demonstrate this, I must briefly summarize the argument for Christ's physical resurrection, which is the effective cause of our own future resurrection. “| Chalcedon

(On Matthew 16:28)
"we should note that on another occasion Christ specifically promised His hearers “there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power” (Mark 9:1). Some of those very persons standing before him would not die before the event! Which one of them is still alive today?" (House Divided, 180)

"In Mark 9:1 Jesus promises that some of his hearers would not "taste of death" before witnessing the "coming of the kingdom with power." This almost certainly refers to the destruction of the temple at the behest of Christ..." (Before Jerusalem Fell, p. lii)

(On the Second Coming of Christ)
"The cloud-coming of Christ in judgment is reminiscent of Old Testament cloud-comings of God in judgment upon ancient historical people and nations." [He Shall Have Dominion (Tyler, TX: ICE, 1992) 388-389]

"The final collapse of Jerusalem and the Temple... Through these events, the Jews were to "see" the Son of Man in His judgment coming in terrifying cloud-glory: clouds are symbols of divine majesty often entailing stormy destruction. The members of the Sanhedrin and others would experience such in their life times (Matt. 26:64; Mark 9:1; cf. Rev 1:7 with Rev 1:1, 3)." (ibid. 348)

“The nature of the event has to do with a ‘Cloud-Coming’ of Christ. It is necessary here to understand the Old Testament backdrop for a proper comprehension of the matter. The Old Testament frequently uses clouds as indicators of divine judgment.” (Before Jerusalem Fell; Bethesda, MD: Christian University Press, 1997; p. 121)

"The term ‘Preterism’ is based on the Latin preter, which means ‘past.’ Preterism refers to that understanding of certain eschatological passages which holds that they have already come to fulfillment. Actually, all Christians--even dispensationalists--are preteristic to some extent. This is necessarily so because Christianity holds that a great many of the Messianic passages have already been fulfilled in Christ's first coming." (Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., He Shall Have Dominion [Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1997], 162–163).

(On the Significance of A.D.70)
" Acts 2:16ff. the Pentecostal tongues event in Jerusalem was pointed to as a harbinger of ‘the day of the Lord’ that was coming. Tongues-speaking was a warning sign to Peter’s hearers of the necessity of their being ‘saved from this perverse generation’ (Acts 2:40) before the ‘great and glorious day of the Lord’ (Acts 2:20)." (Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Before Jerusalem Fell, p.234)

(On Matthew 24:27)
"Jesus warns His followers that He will not appear bodily in the first-century judgment (vv. 23-26). Nevertheless, He will "come" in judgment like a destructive lightening bolt against Jerusalem (v.27). This coming, however, is a providential judgment coming, a Christ-directed judgment, rather than a miraculous, visible, bodily coming.

Nor is the coming as lightening in Matthew 24:27 a publicly visible, physical coming. Rather, it is a judgment coming against those who call down Jesus' blood upon them and their children (v.25). The Lord here speaks about His judgment coming against Jerusalem (see 23:37-24:2) as analogous to "the lightening [that] comes from the east, and flashes even to the west." As I begin to interpret the passage, remember that the local context demands this coming occur in "this generation" (24:34), having reference to the destruction of the temple." (The Great Tribulation: Past or Future?, MI: Kregel, 1999, p. 53-54)

The direction of this judgment coming of Christ in Matthew 24:27 apparently reflect the Roman armies marching toward Jerusalem from an easterly direction. Josephus' record of the march of the Roman armies through Israel shows they wreak havoc on Jerusalem by approaching it from the east." (The Great Tribulation: Past or Future?, MI: Kregel, 1999, p. 53-54; cf. Josephus' Wars 4:8:1; 4:9:1)

(On Matthew 24:34)
"We must not miss the clear references to the contemporary expectation. Enclosing the relevant portion of the discourse, we have Christ's own time-element designation. In 23:36, he dogmatically asserts 'all these things shall come upon this generation.' He closes the relevant portion of the prophecy by repetition of the time frame: Matthew 24:34 says, 'Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.' And just forty years later Jerusalem was destroyed! Contextually the 'this generation' of Matthew 24:34 must speak of the same idea as that of Matthew 23:36" (Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., He Shall Have Dominion, p. 162).

(On the Dating of Revelation)
"My confident conviction is that a solid case for a Neronic date for Revelation can be set forth from the available evidences, both internal and external. In fact, I would lean toward a date after the outbreak of the Neronic persecution in late A.D.64 and before the declaration of the Jewish war in early A.D.67. A date in either A.D.65 or early A.D.66 would seem most suitable." [Before Jerusalem Fell (Tyler, TX: ICE, 1989), 336.]

“John emphasizes his anticipation of the soon occurrences of his prophecy by strategic placement of these time references. He places his boldest time statements in both the introduction and conclusion to Revelation. It is remarkable that so many recent commentators have missed it literally coming and going! The statement of expectancy is found three times in the first chapter – twice in the first three verses: Revelation 1:1, 3, 19. The same idea is found four times in his concluding remarks: Revelation 22:6, 7, 12, and 20. It is as if John carefully bracketed the entire work to avoid any confusion.” (The Beast of Revelation; Tyler, TX; ICE, 1982; p. 21-22).

“Think of it: If these words in these verses do not indicate that John expected the events to occur soon, what words could John has used to express such? How could he have said it more plainly?” (The Beast of Revelation; Tyler, TX; ICE, 1982; p. 24).

(On Luke 21)
"...Luke’s account in Luke 21, which definitely speaks of the A.D. 70 destruction of the physical temple to which, the disciples actually pointed. (Gentry, Beast of Revelation, p. 128)

(On II Thessalonians 2:1, 2)
"Verses 1-2. Paul's reference 'concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him' (2 Thessalonians 2:1) is the crux interpretum of this passage. Paul is here speaking of the A.D. 70 judgment on the Jews - the very judgment given emphasis in the first portion of the Olivet Discourse, the Book of Revelation, and several other passages of Scripture." (He shall have Dominion, p.386)

(On Hebrews 9:26)
"Notice the key phrase: ‘in the end of the world.’ In the original Greek, it reads, ‘completion of the ages.’ This phrase must be taken literally, but its literal frame of reference was the fall of Jerusalem and the annulment of the temple’s sacrificial system. The author was therefore prophesying the imminent end of national Israel as God’s covenant people." (The Beast of Revelation, p.xiv)

(On Hebrews 12:25-29)
"The Jerusalem holocaust was coming in that generation... I Thessalonians 2:16 speaks of Jews who ‘always fill up the measure of their sins’ and upon whom ‘the wrath has the utmost.’ Hebrews 12:18-29 contrasts Judaism and its fulfillment, Christianity, and notes that there is an approaching ‘shaking’ of the old order coming." (Before Jerusalem Fell, p.235)

(On Revelation 11:1)
"If John wrote about literal Jerusalem ("where also their Lord was crucified”) twenty-five years after the destruction of the literal Temple (as per the evangelically formulated late date argument), it would seem most improbable that he would speak of the Temple as if it were still standing. The symbol would be confusing in its blatant anachronism. The Temple is required to be standing for the symbolical action of the vision to have any meaning. John uses the future tense when he speaks of the nations’ treading down the city. As just stated, this is not a reminiscence of a past event, but rather a future expectation." (p.175)

(On Revelation 17:10)
"It seems indisputably clear that the book of Revelation must be dated in the reign of Nero Caesar, and consequently before his death in June, A.D. 68. He is the sixth king; the short-lived rule of the seventh king (Galba) "has not yet come." In addition to all the foregoing, it would seem unreasonable to exclude Julius from the list in light of the circumstances and subject matter of the book." (Before Jerusalem Fell, p.151)

(On Revelation 1:19; mello)
"...this term means ‘be on the point of, be about to.’...According to Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible, Revelation 1:19 reads: ‘Write the things that thou hast seen and the things that are, and the things that are about to come [mello] after these things." The leading interlinear versions of the New Testament concur. This is surely the proper translation of the verse." (The Beast of Revelation pp.23-24)

(On Revelation 22:10)
"...Thayer expands on the idea of the word '...concerning things imminent and soon to come to pass.’ He lists Revelation 1:3 and 22:10 in his series of examples. The word is used frequently of chronologically near events, such as approaching summer (Matt. 24:32), the Passover (Matt. 26:18; John 2:13; 11:55), the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:2), etc. How could events related to the collapse of the Roman Empire two or three hundred years in the future be considered "at hand"...? ...Several generations of these Christians would have waxed and waned over such a period. Even more difficult to understand is how events two or three thousand years in the future could be considered "at hand" ...How could such events so remotely stretched out into the future be "at hand"? But if the expected events were to occur within a period of from one to five years... then all becomes clear." (Before Jerusalem Fell, pp. 140-141)

(On the 'Last Days')
"The last days spoken of in the New Testament were eschatological last days only for national Israel, not for the New Covenant church. The "last days" were in fact the early days of the church of Jesus Christ." (Beast of Revelation, xiv)

(On the 144,000)
"In Revelation 7:1-8 we find an interesting temporary divine protection of ‘the land’ where four angels are seen holding back the winds of destruction... Then follows the sealing of the 144,000 from the Twelve Tribes of Israel... Clearly, the reference to the Twelve Tribes is to Christians... of Jewish extraction... they are contrasted with the "great multitude" from "every nation" who praises God (v.9). ...While speaking in the Olivet Discourse of the destruction of the very Temple to which the disciples could physically point... He also clearly taught that all of these things would happen to "this generation" (Matt. 24:32). Indeed, this coming event was to be "the great tribulation" (Matt. 24:21) - the very tribulation of which John writes (Rev. 7:14)." (Before Jerusalem Fell, pp.232-234)

Out of respect for Mr. Gentry, I must make it clear that, as nearly Preterist as his writings may be, he is decidedly 'partial' Preterist. If you are interested in learning more about his beliefs regarding Preterism (which he unfortunately demeans with pejoratives), If you are truly interested in getting to the bottom of the matter, I would suggest comparing the Gentry article with that of Ed Stevens (Steven's Response to Gentry), and Walt Hibbard (Walt Hibbard's Response to Gentry).

(Where Gentry Stood on 9/98)
"I do not believe that I am THEOLOGICALLY committed to requiring that both judgments (A.D. 70 and Second Advent) appear in Matthew’s Olivet Discourse. My evangelical creedal commitments require a Second Advent, to be sure, but not necessarily a Second Advent in Matthew 24-25. Indeed, these chapters could theoretically speak ONLY of A.D. 70 (even though I believe such would be quite awkward). I do not have any unyielding theological commitments against applying the entire Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24-25 to A.D. 70. If these chapters apply only to A.D. 70, so be it!" (The Great Tribulation in Progressive Dispensationalism (Part 3) - Dispensationalism in Transition, September, 1998)

(Where Gentry Stood on 2/99)
"But again -- as I argue in an earlier newsletter (Oct., 1998) -- WHERE is the temporal marker serving as the springboard from the first century into the distant future? I have no problem with A.D. 70 texts coming into close association with Second Advent texts: they are theologically related (see Matt. 24:3-35 with Matt. 24:36ff in my September 1998 issue). I do, however, have a problem with the mere ASSERTION without proper exegetical notation -- and especially since such goes AGAINST positive contrary evidence." (An Introductory Disclaimer, Orlando Conference)

(On Preterism - "Hyper-Preterism" according to Gentry)
"...goes too far by extending valid observations gathered from temporally confined judgment passages (texts including such delimitations as ‘soon’ and ‘at hand’) to passages that are not temporally constrained and that actually prophesy the future advent of Christ." (Tabletalk magazine, January 1999, p.56)

"Before I begin my analysis and critique, however, I must make very clear my orthodox convictions regarding biblical eschatology. I pause to do so because a new, unorthodox movement has arisen that confuses many Christians regarding orthodox Preterism. This new movement largely arises from within Church of Christ (Campbellite) circles; indeed, the two main publishing sources of the movement are run by present or former Campbellites (though, like any good cult-like movement, it is widening its net and drawing followers from other sources). This movement asserts that A.D. 70 witnesses the fulfilling of ALL eschatological prophecy. This mutant form of Preterism goes too far, for it denies a future Second Advent of Christ; a future, bodily resurrection of the dead; and other historic, orthodox doctrines of the Christian faith." (An Introductory Disclaimer)

(On Lightfoot)
"In fact, one of the finest intellects of the Westminster Assembly was a strong Preterist: John Lightfoot (1601-1675). In his Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica (1674; rep. 1989) Lightfoot offered a fine Preterist exposition of Matthew 24 (2:308-321), with allusions to 2 Thessalonians 2. Of the Thessalonian passage he argued that the "restrainer" therein "is to be understood of the emperor Claudius enraged at and curbing in the Jews" (2:312).

Lightfoot even adopted the view that Revelation 1:7 speaks of "Christ's taking vengeance on that exceeding wicked nation" of Israel (2:319 and 422). There he interpreted Christ's coming as a providential judgment upon "those who pierced him" (the Jews) from among "all the tribes of the land literally" (Israel). This committed Lightfoot so strongly to Preterism that he suggested Revelation's overall theme is Israel's judgment: "I may further add, that perhaps this observation might not a little help (if my eyes fail me not) in discovering the method of the author of the Book of the Revelation" (3:210). This led him to conclude that the "judiciary scene set up in Rev. 4 and 5, and those thrones Rev. 20:1" speak of "the throne of glory" and "is to be understood of the judgment of Christ to be brought upon the treacherous, rebellious, wicked, Jewish people. We meet with very frequent mention of the coming of Christ in his glory in this sense" (2:266)." Gentry.htm

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
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I don't know. I only know that is writting a commentary on Revelation, but you can take contact with (as i did before) and ask him that question at {edited out by Admin}

Dr. Gentry, would see us currently living in the millennial period, and view the rest of the book as future.
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