Theonomy and the Dating of Revelation

Robert L. Thomas | May 18, 2010

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. His clever methods of persuasion partially shield his basic motive for his interpretive conclusions, which is a desire for an undiluted rationale to support Christian social and political involvement leading to long-term Christian cultural progress and dominion. If the prophecies of Revelation are yet to be fulfilled, no such progress will develop a prospect the author cannot accept. 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.

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