Revelation Project Introduction
In the Summer of 2017, Dr. Gentry completed not only the research and writing of his two-volume commentary on Revelation, but also its proof-reading and compiling of its index words. This project had been ongoing since 2005, when GoodBirth Ministries was first established. This commentary will be around 1700 pages and will soon be published by Tolle Lege Press. Brandon Vallorani of Tolle Lege Press committed ample resources to insure this project’s preparation and publication, for which we are most grateful.
The massive amount of research necessary for this Revelation Commentary Project could not have been accomplished without God’s blessing. He has particularly blessed this endeavor by raising up a number of donors who provided financial contributions both large and small. May God richly bless all of you who have helped!
Given Dr. Gentry’s preterist understanding of Revelation, he not only dug deeply into Revelation’s text itself, but into much ancient literature. He has read widely in ancient history, using the works of Tacitus, Suetonius, Dio Cassius, the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Eusebius, and others. He also has engaged Hebrew literature, researching in the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Sibylline Oracles, Philo, Josephus, Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmud, The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and more.
He has completed laborious spade-work in tracing out historical confirmations of his approach and to develop some helpful new insights into John’s forensic drama. This has resulted in many valuable new insights into John’s dramatic message.
Dr. Gentry’s commentary will provide a fully orthodox, evangelical, and conservative approach to a first century fulfillment of Revelation. This redemptive-historical perspective is known as “preterism” (which is based on the Latin word meaning “passed by”). It takes note of and emphasizes the near-term indicators that recur throughout Revelation in 1:1, 3; 3:10; 6:11; 10:6; 12:12; 22:6, 10, 12, 22. It also affirms the inspired character of the prophecy, maintains a future visible, personal Second Advent of Christ, and avoids heretical excesses.
Revelation Project Distinctives
Dr. Gentry’s commentary will highlight Revelation’s special relevance to John’s original audience (which is so often overlooked). As it does so, it will emphasize the long-term implications for the on-going Christian faith (which is generally thought to be lost in a preterist exposition). The evangelical preterist view balances Revelation’s near term relevance for his original audience with the long term significance for his ongoing audience.
It will trace the unified flow of Revelation that is rooted in John’s judgment theme as stated in Revelation 1:7. This theme warns that Christ will soon come (metaphorically-providentially) in judgment against “those who pierced him,” the first century Jews (see: Lk 24:20; Acts 2:22-23; 3:13-15a; 5:28, 30; 7:52; 10:39; 1 Thess. 2:14-15). It also will give full significance to the unmistakably Jewish flavor of the prophecies, the Hebrew character of John’s unusual grammar, and his heavy use of the Old Testament passages and imagery.
The commentary will establish a direct and irrefutable relationship between Revelation and Christ’s Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24 and parallels). In that famous Discourse Christ prophesies the first century (Matt. 23:36; 24:34) destruction of the Jewish temple (Matt. 23:37-24:2), which dramatically, forcefully, and permanently concludes the old covenant (Matt. 8:11-12; 21:40-43; John 4:20-23). (The Epistle to the Hebrews also speaks of the removal of the temple and the ending of the old covenant, Heb. 8:13; 9:8-11; 12:22-28; cp. Matt. 8:11-12; 12:40-45.)
As the temple economy winds down in the first century, Christ sends the messengers of the new covenant to take the gospel into the broader world to gather his church from all nations (Matt. 24:31; cp. Matt 28:18-20; John 3:17; 11:51-52; 12:31-32; Acts 1:8).
Dr. Gentry’s commentary will provide a remarkable co-ordination of Revelation with the wider New Testament expectation of Christ’s first century judgment upon the Temple and Israel. This recurring New Testament concern appears, for instance, in Matthew 21:40-45; 22:1-7; Acts 2:36-40; 1 Thess. 2:15-16; and Hebrews 8:13, to name but a few passages. Though this message appears time and again in the New Testament, it is too often either overlooked or misinterpreted by the contemporary Christian.
In the commentary Dr. Gentry will present an unparalleled and fascinating interaction of Revelation’s text with Josephus’ writings. Josephus inadvertently provides historical evidence for the first century fulfillment of John’s prophecies. The commentary will engage Josephus’ Greek text and show how it presents the historical events which John symbolizes in his forensic drama.
The commentary will offer an in-depth, verse-by-verse exegetical analysis of Revelation. But at the same time it will transliterate the Greek characters into English.
It will provide an abundant use of side-bar studies designed to clear the confusion and allay the fears of modern evangelicals regarding preterism. These excursuses will amplify important elements of the text that would otherwise encumber the verse-by-verse exposition.
Though the commentary is nearing completion, we still need funds to finalize it. And once again, we would greatly appreciate your help. If you can give towards this tax-deductible project please do so through our DONATE button on the left side of our website screen.
Donors will receive Revelation Commentary Update notices with free technical studies on Revelation. We have published in digital, PDF format over twenty of these special studies thus far, and will produce some more before the commentary is completed. Donors who give to GoodBirth Ministries will continue to receive occasional studies not only from this project but from future ones.
To demonstrate that your gifts have already shown fruit, we would like to mention three spin-offs from this GoodBirth-funded research that are already available. Dr. Gentry was able to produce two books and one video lecture series on Revelation from his research:
The first small project arising from the GoodBirth-funded research was The Book of Revelation Made Easy. This 140 page book was published by American Vision in 2008. It was written with a lay audience in mind and introduces several basic issues necessary for understanding Revelation.
The second work generated out of GoodBirth research funding was Navigating the Book of Revelation. This 195 page (small print!) book was published directly by GoodBirth Ministries. It was designed for serious students of Revelation who are interested in the preterist distinctives and implications of John’s great prophetic work. It covers several major questions debated by scholars and crucial for filling out what Dr. Gentry calls “redemptive-historical preterism.”
The third item encouraged by GoodBirth funding was a series of video-taped lectures by Dr. Gentry titled “A Survey of the Book of Revelation.” This video set was designed for use in Sunday school, small group, and personal Bible studies. The lectures cover the whole of Revelation in twenty-four lectures of thirty-five minutes each and were produced by joint co-operation between Victorious Hope Publishing and Whitefield Media.
The fourth result of the commentary project, which has been funded by GoodBirth Ministries is the DVD lecture series titled: The Climax of the Book of Revelation. This set of video lectures provide important introductory material on Revelation as a whole, then focus on the final four chapters of Revelation. These messages present even more detailed information on this section of Revelation than my lectures on the whole book of Revelation (titled: “Survey of the Book of Revelation”). These lectures show that God’s enemies are defeated so that his people might receive the victory. Much of modern exposition of these chapters miss the main themes and ultimate point.
GoodBirth Ministries hopes to continue publishing Revelation materials. After the large commentary has been out for a few years, we will publish two smaller commentaries on Revelation. One will have the pastor and interested layman in mind, the other will be designed for high school and college students. These will be announced at the proper time.
In the meantime, we are preparing various DVD lecture series on topics of eschatological interest. We have just completed a series titled “Understanding the Creation Account,” and are making preparation for a new series on “The Olivet Discourse.”
We are also beginning work on a collecting and editing various articles and special studies which Dr. Gentry has written over the years. And we are continuing research on a Bible survey project that we hope we will be able to continue.
GoodBirth is also continuing to maintain the (newly titled!) blog site: “PostmillennialWorldview.” This site presents various articles on topics of interest for Christian worldview thinking, with a special significance for promoting the biblical worldview.
The Lord has blessed us with faithful giving from interested Christians—and we are thankful for his blessing and their assistance. However, we still need additional funds.
You may give a tax-deductible gift on-line to support this research by clicking on the DONATE button on the top left of this screen. Or if you prefer, you may send a tax-deductible gift to our ministry by writing a check to “GoodBirth Ministries” and sending it to:
P.O. Box 285
Chesnee, SC 29323