Skip to comments.Theonomy and the Dating of Revelation
Posted on 01/21/2011 8:20:05 AM PST by dartuser
In 1989, a well-known spokesman for the theonomist camp, Kenneth L. Gentry, published a work devoted to proving that John the Apostle wrote Revelation during the sixties of the first century A.D. Basing his position heavily on Rev 17:9-11 and 11:1-13, he used internal evidence within the book as his principal argument for the early date. ...
Inconsistency marks Gentry's hermeneutical pattern. Predisposition keeps him from seeing the book's theme verse as a reference to Christ's second coming. His explanation of Rev 17:9-11 is fraught with weaknesses, as is his discussion of 11:1-2. Two major flaws mar Gentry's discussion of John's temporal expectation in writing the book. Besides these problems, five major questions regarding Gentry's position remain unanswered.
(Excerpt) Read more at tms.edu ...
Dr. Thomas has provided a scholarly work here to demonstrate the issues with Gentry's work. Many of the arguments that he makes have been developed by earlier authors; however, I personally have not seen some of these arguments presented before. While he interacts with the formidable Gentry in a straightforward manner, he also refutes the claims that traditionalists are clinging to a single citation as the totality of evidence for the AD 95 date. He provides a host of evidence from the NT and NT history that clearly combats the logic of an early date.
WARNING, this is not an easy read and it is quite long (16 pages).
This is old news............
Topcat54, do you want to get in on this action?
It is best to let FReeping blogs die...............
Probably not. The two items in the subject are unrelated. Rest can’t be good.
Besides, I’ve already asked dart questions about futurism that have gone unanswered. I can see the pattern.
Gentry’s book Before Jerusalem Fell is available online to read for free. If dartuser is prepared to read it and discuss it, that would be more interesting. And it would demonstrate the potential for independent thinking.
Wow! Thomas does a thorough job of destroying the credibility of Gentrys and the whole of Preterist hermeneutics as it relates to Revelation. He points out not only the inconsistency with which Gentry interprets but also shows the underlying rational to try to justify a predisposed position. He does an excellent job of showing the falsehoods of Preterism, theonomy, and Dominionism.
I apologize for not answering your questions topcat, its not my intention to exit an interesting conversation (and we were having an interesting one) ... but I have been unusually busy at work, lots of technical reviews coming up along with a major flight test.
I will try to keep up with the rest of the class ... lol.
I posted this article because I did a google search the other day on “date of revelation” (or something like that, dont remember the exact words) and was shocked to see defense of an early date in 19 of the 20 first hits.
Each of them puts forth the same basic arguments that Gentry has outlined, contains (imho) lots of exceptionally weak arguments, and does little to advance the case for an early date.
lol ... yeah, because that MA in Mathematics, that PhD in Electrical Engineering, and the years of seminary training hasn't adequately prepared me for an undergraduate discussion in theology up here on FR.
Keep it above the belt and I will be happy to have at it some more.
You're read Gentry then?
I said demonstrate.
You've already gotten more responses than the last time you tried this.
When the author starts by poisoning the well, you can figure the rest won't be very good.
Going after the speaker rather then the facts sounds familiar somehow.
This is not 'The Revelation of or by John' as a lot characterize it. It is The Revelation given by God the Father to John and us to reveal future events concerning His Son, Jesus.
The only role John had in this is as a scribe or stenographer detailing what God the Father showed him with an Angel and/or the Spirit of God. This is God's prophecy, not John's.
What time in John's life it was written has no bearing as to what he wrote. It could have been written anytime before John died. BVB
That's about the only truthful statement in these comments.
So I bothered to read a bit of this atrocious critique of Gentry, and I must say that I'm shocked by the writer's plain misreading of the book and its premise.
For example, under the section Temporal Expectation of the Author, the writer says,
The coming of Christ for the church, he says, is the Neronic persecution of A.D. 64-68, but John did not write the book until 65 or early 66. This "coming" was not imminent; it was already in progress.Gentry does not refer to any of this activity as the coming of Christ for the church, which the writer no doubt thinks is the rapture. It's a misrepresentation of Gentry's views. But he also quibbles about the word imminent and where exactly within the timefame of the Neronic persecution these events represent.
Again, the writer in clearly confused about the events of AD70 and the Second Coming, the former being quite predictable while the later is not. Yet the writer tries to conflate the two claiming that Gentry somehow predicts the Second Coming, which is not the subject of Before Jerusalem Fell at all.
For Gentry, "soon" means already (i.e., Christ's coming for the church), in two years (i.e., Christ's coming for the Jews), and in four years (i.e., Christ's coming for the Roman Empire).A careful examination of Gentry here will show that He never refers to the Neronic persecution as Christ's coming for the church.
This is how Gentry actually refers to the event:
A magnitude that is so covenantally and redemptively significant as to be, in an important and dramatic sense, a coming of Christ (Rev. 1:7; 2:5, 16, 25; 3:3, 11, 20; 16: 15; 22:7, 12, 20)?Note, Gentry does not use the words that the writer suggests. He refers to the events of AD70 as Coming of Christ upon 'those who pierced Him' (p. 127), coming of Christ and the close of the Old Dispensation (quoting Farrar, p. 144), or similar language. Never does he use the rapturist language of dispensationalism.
How can this be considered a fair critique if the writer is essentially incapable of correctly conveying the views of Gentry? The word straw man comes to mind again and again. The only thing that can be said of this writer is that he has managed to prove that Gentry is not a dispensational futurist.
The rest of this critique is similarly flawed. The writer has read his biases into Gentry's work to the extent that he plainly misrepresents Gentry's basic thesis.
Anyone who thinks this is a thorough job of destroying the credibility of Gentrys hermeneutics, is sadly mistaken and suggests they have neither read Gentry nor this writer, at least not fairly.
>>Note, Gentry does not use the words that the writer suggests. He refers to the events of AD70 as Coming of Christ upon ‘those who pierced Him’<<
So you would say that Gentry is saying that in AD70 when Christ came upon those that pierced Him everyone in the world saw Him and all wailed because of Him? The Romans, even though they were the ones killing the Israelites were wailing? Seriously?
Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Then you/he use Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
In that verse he was speaking to the church of Ephesus. By all accounts the church at Ephesus were Christians not Jews. Either way, how could you say that Christ coming upon those who pierced Him be applied to the Christians at Ephesus?
The same can be said for verse 16 where He is talking about those that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes which held that there is a hierarchy in the church. Surely not those who pierced Him.
In non of the references you use is He talking to the Jews in Jerusalem but to Christian churches.
Again I quote your post >>Note, Gentry does not use the words that the writer suggests. He refers to the events of AD70 as Coming of Christ upon ‘those who pierced Him’ (p. 127),<<
Yet you use references in Revelation that are not talking about the Jews in Jerusalem at all.
Once again, the Preterist/Theonomy/Dominionist views can not be held as credible.
>>What time in John’s life it was written has no bearing as to what he wrote.<<
While I agree with that, it does make a difference when talking to Preterists who claim that most all of the prophecy of Revelation has happened prior to or in 70AD.
Revelation 1:3 : How could events related to the collapse of the Roman Empire two or three hundred years in the future be considered at hand, as per Swete, Barnes, and others? 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, as per Mounce, Walvoord, and others. 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 as in the case with Revelation if the book were written prior to A.D. 70 then all becomes clear. (Gentry, BJF, p. 141)