Kenneth Gentry on the Meaning of Mello– and the Resurrection
A Response By William Bell
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?
<b>Acts 24:15 & Daniel 12:2</b>
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.
<b>N.T. Eschatology is A Reiteration of O.T. Prophecy</b>
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.
<b>Gentry Must Reconcile His Own Two Conflicting Views</b>
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