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Revelation Q&A: IS 1948 RELEVANT?

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. —  July 11, 2014 — 2 Comments
1948

In this brief series I am providing “talking points” in answer to common questions. I hope these are helpful.

What of the re-emergence of Israel as a nation? Is your preterist view AntiSemitic?

(1) The Israel as a nation part of the question.

(a) Yes, it does write-off the significance of Israel’s nationhood — as far as biblical prophecy goes. This may be an interesting political event of great joy to Jewish people, but it is without prophetic significance.

(b) Those who deem it prophetically significant also expect a future return to an OT like sacrificial system, which the NT dogmatically declares fulfilled in Christ’s sacrifice — never to return (Heb. 8:13).

(2) The anti-Semitism part of the question.

(a) Anti-semitism is a moral charge that speaks of the persecution and suppression of Jews. The preterist view deals only with the historical interpretation of events from 2000 years ago. No evangelical preterist would call for persecuting the Jews. In fact, my postmillennial eschatology expects that they will one day be converted to Christ, praise God.

(b) The popular dispensational view is different in that it looks to a future, soon-coming judgment of the Jews wherein 2/3 of them will be destroyed. I would think the preterist view more hopeful for the Jews than the dispensational one!

(c) Evangelicals need to be careful with this charge of anti-Semitism. The major sociological analyses of anti-Semitism actually declare that Christianity per se is anti-Semitic because it claims that only those who believe in Jesus will enter heaven.

In fact, the leading analyses of anti-Semitism blames the NT writers themselves for anti-Semitism: John Dominic Crossan, Who Killed Jesus? Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of the Death of Jesus (1995) and Dan Cohn-Sherbock, The Crucified Jew: Twenty Centuries of Christian Anti-Semitism (1992, esp. p. 12).


The Climax of the Book of Revelation (Rev 19-22)
Six lectures on six DVDs that introduce Revelation as a whole,
then focuses on its glorious conclusion.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


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Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

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Ken is a Presbyterian pastor and the author or co-author of over thirty books, most on eschatology. He has been married since 1971, and has three children and several grandchildren. He is a graduate of Tennessee Temple University (B.A., 1973), Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1977), and Whitefield Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1986; Th.D., 1988). He currently pastors Living Hope Presbyterian Church (affiliated with the RPCGA) in Greer, SC. Much of his writing is in the field of eschatology, including his 600 page book, He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology and his 400 page, Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (his Th.D. dissertation). He contributed chapters to two Zondervan CounterPoints books on eschatological issues: Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (edited by Darrell L. Bock) and Four Views on the Book of Revelation (edited by C. Marvin Pate). He also debated Thomas D. Ice in Kregel's The Great Tribulation: Past or Future? His books have been published by American Vision, Baker, Zondervan, Kregel, P & R, Greenhaven Press, Nordskog, Wipf & Stock, and several other publishers. He has published scores of articles in such publications as Tabletalk, Westminster Theological Journal, Evangelical Theological Society Journal, Banner of Truth, Christianity Today, Antithesis, Contra Mundum, and others. He has spoken at over 100 conferences in America, the Caribbean, and Australia. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and a Church Council Committee member of Coalition on Revival.

2 responses to Revelation Q&A: IS 1948 RELEVANT?

  1. If I understand your position, we are currently in the millennium. Doesn’t Rev 20:7 suggest that at the end of the millennium, Satan will be released from prison and surround the city God loves (Jerusalem)? Do you see this as the New Jerusalem or the physical Jerusalem in Isreal/Palestine? If it’s physical Jerusalem, doesn’t that imply that the Jews will be back in their land?

    • Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. August 1, 2014 at 6:30

      Yes, I believe the millennium began in the first century. Yes, I believe that at the end of the millennium Satan will be loosed and attack “the camp of the saints and the beloved city.”

      But I believe that this camp/beloved city is Christianity. Revelation presents historical Jerusalem’s destruction under the guise of “Babylon the great city.” The “great city” is defined in in Rev 11:8 as the place where Christ was crucified. Christianity takes over as the new Jerusalem, the Jerusalem which flows form above (Gal 4:26; Heb 12:22). In this scenario in Rev 20:7ff Satan is loosed after a long period of constriction, and thereupon attempts to overthrow Christianity. But Christ’s return in flaming fire stops him and judges him.

      You might want to check this blog article: http://postmillennialismtoday.com/2014/02/12/satans-loosing-in-postmillennial-thought/

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