I went on Gentry’s site last night (3/29/12) and posted these comments. So far they have not made it through the “moderation” process as other FP have commented and not made it through (see Don Preston and Williams comments below). At one point Gentry used Daniel 12:2-3 and Acts 24:15 together in order to refute the two resurrections and two judgments theory of Dispensationalism: “Contrary to dispensationalism and historic premillennialism, there is but one resurrection and one judgment, which orrcur simultaneously at the end of history, see: Daniel 12:2;…Acts 24:15.” (Gentry, THE GREATNESS OF THE GREAT COMMISSION, Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1990, 142, bold emphasis MJS). It took Gentry 20 years of dodging our exegetical challenges/questions which placed the resurrection of the just and unjust in Dan. 12:2-3 with the other AD 70 events in verses 1-7 and that these were all fulfilled by the end of the Old Covenant age in AD 70 (not at “the end of history”). So now that Gentry has conceded part of this major point to us, I guess it will take him another 20 years to answer our questions/challenges on the IMPLICATIONS of his recent preterist interpretation of this text and how the NT develops it?!? If Daniel 12:2 takes place at the end of the OC age in AD 70 and is “simultaneously” fulfilled with Acts 24:15, then the debate between PP and FP is over.
I wrote the following:
a) The ONLY place in the OT that teaches a resurrection of the just and unjust is found in Daniel 12:2. “The resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous is based on the prophecy of the end in Dan. 12:2–3, which indicates two groups of people, some being raised to eternal life and others to eternal reproach and shame, and then refers to the “righteous” (Θ) or to “righteousness” (MT). Clearly this passage lies behind Paul’s statement, although the wording is different.” (Beale, G. K., & Carson, D. A. (2007). Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament (598). Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic; Apollos, bold emphasis MJS). Mr. Gentry you, DeMar, Jordan, Leithart, etc… NOW (finally after many years of dodging Full Preterist questions on this passage) accept this resurrection to have taken place in AD 70 (He Shall Have Dominion, 538). At one time you used this passage to refute the dispy’s two resurrections arguing that this passage was evidence of ONE – and yet now you too have TWO resurrection doctrines:“Contrary to dispensationalism and historic premillennialism, there is but one resurrection and one judgment, which orrcur simultaneously at the end of history, see: Daniel 12:2;…Acts 24:15.” (Gentry, THE GREATNESS OF THE GREAT COMMISSION, Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1990, 142, bold emphasis MJS).
b) Now that you take Daniel 12:2-3 taking place in AD 70, why do you still continue (oddly in the same book) to apply Matthew 13:39-43 as a future resurrection taking place at the end of history, when in fact Jesus is quoting the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3! Even Joel McDurmon and Peter Leithart are saying the parable of the wheat and tares and that of the harvest in Matthew 13 took place at the end of the Old Covenant age in AD 70 and not in our future. They too have surrendered this key passage to us and you seem reluctant?
2) You have NOW CHANGED your position on mello “about to” in the book of Revelation. Of mello’s use in Revelation 3:10, you once wrote, “Nevertheless, when used with the aorist infinitive — as in Revelation 1:19 — the word’s preponderate usage and preferred meaning is: “be on the point of, be about to.” The same is true when the word is used with the present infinitive, as in Rev. 3:10. The basic meaning in both Thayer and Abbott-Smith is “to be about to.” Indeed “mello” with the infinitive expresses imminence (like the future).” (Gentry, Before Jerusalem Fell, 141-142) Why? The reason should be obvious. If you apply what you wrote about mello in the book of Revelation (in your earlier writings) here with Acts 24:15 (which if I recall is in the infinitive) AND your admission of Daniel 12:2-3 taking place in AD 70, then those two admissions would cause you to have to surrender Acts 24:15 to us Full Preterists as you have Daniel 12:2-3 and Joel McDurmon Matthew 13:39-43. Once you have admitted that the resurrection is imminent – let alone takes place at the “end of the [Old Covenant] age”, then the debate is over and you know it. You are scared and that is the reason for the change and this poorly written article by you.
3) Scripture confirms the resurrection was imminent in the first century. You have already admitted that Paul’s source material in 1 and 2 Thessalonians is the Olivet Discourse referring to Waterman among others as your source (Perilous Times, 100 n. 19). You only make 3 parallels from Matt. 24 to 2 Thess. 2 and neglect the other 21 that he makes between Matthew 24 and 1 and 2 Thessalonians. The parallels between Matthew 24-25 and 1 Thessalonians 4-5 are painfully obvious and shuts down your two comings, two resurrections, two end of the ages, two judgments, two Great Commissions, etc…position completely. If you thought you were having double vision as a Dispensationalist, that is nothing compared to the absurd double vision one get’s from reading the Partial Preterists.
4) You continue to fail to recognize that the millennium of Revelation 20 with its judgment and resurrection of the dead has already been recapitulated throughout the previous chapters. How does Rev. 20 get separated from the prophetic material in the book of which John was told to not seal up since the fulfillment was “near”? You use that as evidence that Rev. 21 was fulfilled imminently, and yet the same argument should apply to Rev. 20 as well. As Vern Poythress says of your arbitrary position, “But 1:3 and 22:10 are like bookends enclosing the whole prophecy of Revelation. The fulfillment of EVERYTHING, not just a part, is near.” (Poythress, The Returning King, 34).
a) PP and FP agree that the Second Coming ends the millennium. And yet ALL the references in the book of Revelation describing the Second Coming you say happened in AD 70. Mathison now agrees with DeMar that Matthew 24-25 is not divided. And you say there isn’t a problem with that – lol. Really, so the Church is supposed to believe that Jesus never taught about His Second Coming anywhere in Matthew, Mark and Luke? I guess John did in John 14? And yet in the book of Revelation he didn’t develop that? Your position just get’s more and more absurd as you fail to embrace the analogy of Scripture in light of the time texts – all the while trying to stay “orthodox.”
b) The glorification and redemption of the body was “about to be revealed” (Rom. 8:18-23 YLT, WEY).
c) All of the “rewards” (in the judgment) for the 7 churches in chapters 1-3 are realized in the arrival of the New Creation of Revelation 21ff. – which you say came in AD 70. The New Creation (and the Second Coming) FOLLOWS the millennium.
d) The judgment of the dead in Revelation 20:11-15 was imminent (Rev. 11:18) and the analogy of Scripture confirms this: They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” “…But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.” (1 Pet. 4:5, 7). And in the same context Peter in verse 17 uses the definite article to emphasize he is referring to “THE time” of “THE judgment,” not just “a” minor one in AD 70, “For the time has come for the judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pet. 4:17). “…because He did set a day in which He is about to judge the world in righteousness, by a man whom He did ordain, having given assurance to all, having raised him out of the dead” (Acts 17:31 YLT, WEY). “I solemnly implore you, in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is about to judge the living and the dead, and by His Appearing and His Kingship:” (2 Tim. 4:1 WEY, YLT). Since PP Gary DeMar and Mathison do not divide Matthew 24-25 the coming of the Son of Man in Matt. 24:30-34—-25:31-46 took place in the AD 30-AD 70 “this genereration” with it’s attended judgment of the dead and Satan.
e) Satan is released for a “little while” AFTER the millennium and then is shortly thrown into the lake of fire. This corresponds to him “shortly” being “crushed” (Rom. 16:20/Gen. 3:15). When Satan is crushed the Adamic curse is lifted and “the death” is destroyed as well — THEN the entrance into the New Creation takes place (Rev. 20-22).
f) You would claim the “long time” of (Matthew 24:48; 25:5, 19) is the period of the millennium before the Second Coming described in Matt. 24:36ff.; and yet DeMar would claim the “long time” is roughly between AD 30 – AD 70.
5) Reformed eschatology continues to lead Christians to Full Preterism:
a) Classic Amillennialism – The NT teaches ONE “THE Parousia” and it takes place at the end of ONE “end of the age.” There is ONE final judgment and ONE resurrection that takes place at the end of that ONE end of the age for the just and unjust. The “last days” encompasses both advents of Christ.
b) Partial Preterism – Christ’s parousia took place in AD 70. The NT description of the “last days” took place between AD 30 – AD 70 ending with the Old Covenant age. The resurrection of the just and unjust took place at the end of the Old Covenant age as well.
c) Full Preterism – The NT teaches ONE “THE Parousia” and it took place at the end of the ONE “end of the [Old Covenant] age” in AD 70. The “last days” encompass both advents of Christ. The ONE resurrection of the just and unjust at the end of the ONE “end of the age” took place in AD 70.
Conclusion: Based upon all of the above, there is no reason why mello in Acts 24:15 should not be interpreted as “about to” take place within the first century. Your new preterist interpretation of Daniel 12;2-3 should alone be evidence enough. Please address these points.
A bit of background here:
In his book Before Jerusalem Fell, Kenneth Gentry took note of the meaning of the Greek word “mello.” John was told to write of things that were past, the things that were present, and the things that are to be (mello– about to be). Gentry (correctly in our view) noted that the lexical meaning of “mello” with the infinitive indicates imminence.
Well, after he wrote that, full (true) preterists took note in various articles that the same Greek word appears in Acts 17:30-31; 24:14-15; 2 Timothy 4:1-2, etc. texts that spoke of the resurrection! Thus, if mello indicates imminence, this demands that the resurrection of the dead was near in the first century, thus falsifying Gentry’s futurism.
So, what happened? Gentry has now changed his position on “mello.” In his revised version of The Beast of Revelation Gentry now claims that mello simply means shall be– a simple (certain) future.
Not only has Gentry changed his views on mello, he is aggressively condemning true preterists who appeal to mello. In a recent Internet article, “Gentry wrote an article Acts 24:15 and the Alleged Nearness of the Resurrection.” See that article here–>
Several readers of Gentry’s article chimed in praising Gentry’s “arguments” including some former preterists.
To be honest, I was stunned at the bad logic on display, not only in the article by Gentry, but by the posters who were delighted at his attack of true preterism. Circular reasoning was the order of the day in the blog posts. I immediatly forwarded the article to William Bell, since I was covered up in correspondence.
William then wrote a response and sent it to Gentry’s blog. That was 3-21-12. As of this morning (3-25-12) Bell”s response has not been posted on Gentry’s site. However, I thought it good that our visitors, many of whom know of Gentry’s article, should have William’s response available. It remains to be seen if Gentry, or his blog master, will allow William’s article to be posted on his blog.
With this background, here is William Bell’s response to Kenneth Gentry:
It’s been quite a while since I have seen such hop-scotch methods of exegesis. Gentry has stumbled all over himself and those who sit cheer leading these efforts really should take a step back. Why do I say this?
Acts 24:15 & Daniel 12:2
Acts 24:15 is the prophecy of Daniel 12:2, in which context Daniel places the events as finding their fulfillment in connection with Matt. 24. Gentry agrees, has defended in written debate that Matthew 24:21, is fulfilled in 70 AD. He has of recent acknowledged (a change of his former position) that Daniel 12:2, is a reference to AD 70. Now, it therefore must follow that if the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 is fulfilled in A.D. 70, (see Dan. 12:7), then it was certainly at hand and about to be when Paul quoted Daniel 12:2 in Acts 24:15.
N.T. Eschatology is A Reiteration of O.T. Prophecy
In fact, it is the only place in the entire O.T. which mentions explicitly a resurrection of the “just and the unjust” i.e. (some who are raised to everlasting contempt –the unjust, and to everlasting righteousness –the just. Not only does Paul quote Daniel 12:2 in Acts 24:15, but he does it again in Romans 13:11-12, with the expression that “knowing the time, that “now” it is the hour to awake out of sleep” a clear reference to Daniel 12, saying that the night was far spent and the time was at hand.
Gentry Must Reconcile His Own Two Conflicting Views
I do not buy this attempt at camouflage for one second and the attempt to railroad mello is to prove the point is entirely useless in light of the above. Has Gentry retracted his view of Daniel 12? Will he deny Rom. 13:11-12 is Daniel 12:2? Does he deny Paul, who explicitly said he taught nothing other than that written in the law and the prophets, i.e. inclusive of Daniel 12:2, as his resurrection doctrine?
Nice try, but it falls woefully short of the objective.
We will keep our readers updated on whether Dr. Gentry will post William’s article, or choose to ignore it.
Don K. Preston
We continue to discuss this at David Green’s pretcosmos yahoo list:
Thanks for continuing to post on these glaring PP’S inconsistencies.
Just last night I was listening to a Preston lecture where he interacted with some of Dr. Gentry’s latest work and showing how Gentry has moved closer to the True Preterist position.At the end he quoted Sam Frost “Gentry is 90% True Preterist” 🙂 Of course this was a few years ago and I’m sure Sam feels different now.
I think I may understand why Dr. Gentry doesn’t allow Full Prets to post on his site.This morning i visited Gary DeMar’s site and read a pretty good article.
Now Gary does allow Full Preterist to post and sometimes he even answers.In yesterdays post Full Preterist Micah Martin asked Gary a question. unfortunately Gary’s response didn’t answer Micah’s question so Micah responded again and as of yet Gary hasn’t responded.
My thinking is maybe Dr. Gentry has seen how (reading Gary’s site) Full Preterist puts them in such a inconsistent position and this is why he won’t let them post on his site.Does he really want the Dispensationalists to see his “fuzzy eschatology” exposed?
Can you imagine Gentry’s outcry if he wasn’t allowed to post on a Dispy site?
Keep up the good work Mike
Yes, I have mentioned Gentry’s dishonesty and lack of integrity in not dealing with his own writings and letting others point them out or interact with them under his articles to DeMar on FB. But as you say at AV they let you post questions/challenges but they don’t always answer – of which I partially thanked Gary for a couple of weeks ago. For example Joel McDurmon never addressed my and other FP questions of his article on the parable of the wheat and tares in connection with the resurrection/gathering of Daniel 12:2-3/Matt. 13:39-43, 49 and then how this gathering plays out at the same end of the OC age in Matt. 24. He does the proper exegesis in proving that the end of the age is the OC age in Jesus’ teachings AND then proceeds to the proper steps to then show the consistency in Paul’s teaching on the end of the age. BUT since Joel AVOIDED any mention whatsoever of Dan. 12:2-3 in Matt. 13:39-43 he no longer would have to proceed in the exegetical steps of developing how the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 was fulfilled at the same time in Paul’s writings (Acts 24:15YLT WEY).
And of course you are correct about Gentry being arrogant and not wanting other dispy’s and FP to see the problems in his writings. Gentry has no problems with appealing to YLT when it has served him in the past and when he hadn’t had to address “hyper-preterism” more in his current writings:
“…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).
From what I hear this is missing in his latest version of The Beast of Revelation? In other words, when Gentry was debating Dispensationalism and Amillennialism an appeal to the “literal” meaning of YLT was valid along with citing Greek experts concerning mello when being used with the aor. inf. or pres. inf. as having the “preferred meaning” of “about to.” BUT as time goes on and Gentry is no longer able to simply ignore FPism in his writings, we see him backing away from these statements!!! Why? Because they prove the resurrection was imminent in the first century and they “lead to FPism.” But as Sam has said in HD, Gentry could “lose his job” if he continued “connecting the dots.” Perhaps maybe Sam can now ask Mr. Gentry to help him find a job since he feels so compelled to “get along” with him and other PPist’s?
Again Gentry has written,
“Unfortunately, none of the major translators cited above translates Revelation 1:19 in a literal fashion.” (Before Jerusalem Fell, 141).
He states that if mello is used in the aorist infinitive or present infinitive (according to Greek experts he cites) the “preferred meaning” is “about to be.” (Ibid. 141-142). This of course begs the question as to why we shouldn’t consider it “unfortunate” that many of the main translations do not translate mello “in a literal fashion” in Acts 24:15 as YLT does, or give the “preferred meaning” of “about to be revealed” in Romans 8:18 because it is in the aorist infinitive! It begs the question as to why he and others appeal to BDAG on Acts 24:15 but we can’t appeal to BDAG on Romans 8:18?
The YLT and WEY and the others Dave has pointed out: King James II Version / The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (Jay P. Green) The Englishman’s Greek New Testament (Thomas Newberry) Interlinear New Testament (Alfred Marshall) The Interlinear Literal Translation of the Greek New Testament (George Ricker Berry) weren’t experts in Greek or were not able to finish their schooling – per the reasoning of some?
My Logos software doesn’t seem to have a problem placing Acts 24:15 and Romans 8:18 together as having the meaning “about to” (unless I’m reading it wrong?) and they too need further education?!?
μέλλω (mellō), be about to
67.62 (102) to be about to Mt 2:13; 16:27; 20:22; Mk 10:32; 13:4; Luke 7:2; 9:31; 10:1; 19:4, 11; 21:7, 36; 22:23; 24:21; Jn 4:47; 6:6, 15, 71; 7:35 (2), 39; 11:51; 12:4, 33; 14:22; 18:32; Acts 3:3; 5:35; 11:28; 12:6; 13:34; 16:27; 17:31; 18:14; 19:27; 20:3, 7, 38; 21:27, 37; 22:26, 29; 23:3, 15, 20, 27; 24:15; 25:4; 26:2, 22, 23; 27:2, 10, 30, 33; 28:6; Rom 8:18; 1 Th 3:4; 1 Ti 1:16; 2 Ti 4:1; Heb 1:14; 8:5; 10:1, 27; 11:8; 1 Pe 5:1; 2 Pe 2:6; Rev 1:19; 2:10 (2); 3:2, 10, 16; 6:11; 8:13; 10:4, 7; 12:4, 5; 17:8; in the future Matt 3:7; 11:14; 12:32; Luke 3:7; 13:9; Ac 24:25; Rom 4:24; 5:14; 8:13, 38; 1 Co 3:22; Gal 3:23; Eph 1:21; Col 2:17; 1 Ti 4:8; Heb 2:5; 6:5; 11:20; 13:14; Jas 2:12; to intend Ac 20:13 (2)
67.121 (1) to delay Ac 22:16
67.135 (1) in the future 1 Ti 6:19
71.36 (5) to be about to Mt 17:12, 22; 24:6; Lk 9:44; to intend 2 Pe 1:12
So yes, Gentry doesn’t want to deal with his inconsistencies and have them exposed by dispy’s or FPist’s – and that indeed PPism does “lead to FPism.” All of my encounters with Mr. Gentry have been negative. He is an extremely prideful man – both in personal conversations and written correspondence (which have been very brief). Sad.
I like what Don Preston has written to a questioner through email exchanges posted on his site (www.eschatology.org):
“I have been saying for years that mello, does not “demand” but does suggest, imminence. I have stated many times that I do not hang my hat on it. With all that said, there are some suspicious things in the translations.
1.) In non-eschatological texts, a large number of translations render mello, with the indicative, as “about to be.”
2.) Then, in the same form, and in the same construction, in eschatological texts, they render it as “will be.” That is clearly inconsistent. I have a written breakdown of this that I could send you, done by a guy up in the NE as I remember. It is pretty amazing to see the disparity.
3.) The Blass-Debrunner Greek Grammar says that mello (item #356) with the indicative “indicates imminence.”
4.) Very often, the context of passages—even eschatological texts—contain other words and indications of imminence, yet, the translators ignore the other words as well as mello. Romans 8:18f is a classic example. Notice that mello is used with apokaradokia and apekdekomai, and both of these latter words definitely indicate imminence. So, why in the name of reason do the translators ignore all three of these words of urgency and expectation? Um, I think we know why!
5.) Notice that the guy admits that “immediacy” is the first definition. By the rules of usage therefore, it would demand contextual proof that the first definition is to be rejected.
I forgot to mention that another place where mello is used in conjunction with other strong words of imminence is 1 Peter 4: 5, 7, 17. Those three verses contain undeniable language of imminence. Then, in 5:1, it speaks of the “glory about to be revealed.” This is the same glory about to be revealed as in Romans 8.
This combination of words and language of imminence just cannot be ignored, far as I am concerned. Thus, this all but demands that mello in 5:1 indicates imminence.”
This seems to be circling in Dr. Talbot’s circle of disciples as a reason why the YLT should not be accepted in Acts 24:15 and other places:
“The YLT (Young’s Literal Translation) adheres to a literal word for word translation from one language to another, without due regard for the syntactical differences between the languages. The YLT also renders the tense of every Hebrew verb and every Greek verb as though the meaning of the tense in the original language always means the same as the corresponding tense in English. For instance, the present tense
of a given word in the Greek text is always rendered by means of the present tense in the English rendering, regardless of the fact that, for example, the present tense in Greek may have a future meaning, as in this case: “Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth,” (Rev 2:16). In the Greek text, the verb rendered “I will come” is in the present tense; however, the meaning is future tense, as rightly rendered in the English version.”
Ed Hassertt responded:
And too bad it’s only partially true. It is true about the Greek verbs. His problem is, it’s not true about the YLT. See even Talbot’s doctorate is from a correspondence school, or he would at least be intelligent enough to check his sources before passing on such a gem to his fawning masses: “Reform! and if not, I come to thee quickly, and wil l fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” YLT. Now tell me, where in any language school on any planet, in the universe will they teach any pupil that “I come to thee quickly,” is somehow not portraying the future sense of the verb, and means something completely different from “”I will soon come to thee.” It is a sideshow attempt at misdirection.
The YLT shows future action when the context indicates future action, just as other translations do.
This blatant attempt to win one little argument point is just more proof of Talbot’s lies! He lied about the YLT, claiming it does not show future action when the verb is in a present tense.
Then he quotes a verse in another translation, yet never quotes it in the YLT. WHY? Because that would show he is just as poor of a student as his pupils.
Go get a real doctorate Doctor T! It is obvious from this repeated argument that you created your own school because no one else would even let you teach for them with the paper on your wall!