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Is there a definitive resource that outlines the views and the bible verses they use to support those views? Or are these views so hopelessly broad that its impossible to clearly define them?

There seems to be so many books and internet resources it would take a millennium to read them all. Some short but seemingly inconsistent with each other, some far to long to be useful, and some providing general summaries of the views, but not showing bible verses that lead/support the views of that camp. Is it not possible to get a clear simple answer?

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  • The respective wikipedia articles are pretty good; is there something you think they are missing in particular? – Nathaniel is protesting Sep 19 '15 at 1:36
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    It's not free on the internet, but the best introductory treatment I have seen is the "millennium" chapter of Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology. It has diagrams, scripture, and enough analysis to get the major points across without getting bogged down in minutiae. – Nathaniel is protesting Sep 19 '15 at 2:19
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    @Caleb Dude, I asked for summaries that include bible verses. The answer you suggest is a duplicate does not include any bible verses at all. – Jacob Sep 21 '15 at 1:12
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    The perceived Biblical basis that backs each view is too broad a question to tackle in a overview format. It is not as simple as quoting a couple verses in support of each view. It takes a whole different hermeneutical approach for each one. Mixing and matching an overview question with the apologetics for each view is not a good question format for this site. – Caleb Sep 21 '15 at 4:21
  • @Jacob you could ask for the Biblical basis of each view separately though. (But do a search for each - some may have been answered before.) – ThaddeusB Sep 21 '15 at 13:28
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There seems to be so many books and internet resources it would take a millennium to read them all. Some short but seemingly inconsistent with each other, some far to long to be useful, and some providing general summaries of the views, but not showing bible verses that lead/support the views of that camp. Is it not possible to get a clear simple answer?

You're right, there won't be any clear simple answer. To some extent there are verses which are claimed to only support one position, but mostly these positions uses the same verses as each other to support themselves, but they interpret them in different ways. This is because these eschatological positions are symptom issues: what you believe about other issues (namely your Biblical meta-narrative, i.e., your Biblical theology framework) largely determines your eschatology. (Baptism is another symptom issue, within Protestantism at least.) Whenever anyone attempts what you ask for without first dealing with the different meta-narratives the result is that the two sides just end up talking past each other.

The two major meta-narrative frameworks within Protestantism are Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology. These represent two extremes of a continuum. Dispensationalism emphasises the discontinuities between the Old and New Testaments (and the different eras of history in general) and de-emphasises the continuities. Covenant Theology emphasises the continuities and de-emphasises the discontinuities. There are frameworks which fit in between these extremes, such as New Covenant Theology.

Covenant Theology says that there is one single Covenant of Grace, which encompasses all of the Biblical covenants, which means that there is really only one People of God. The promises that God made to the Israelites are the promises he makes to the Church because Israel is the Church. Dispensationalism however considers each 'dispensation' (system in which God interacted with humanity) to be independent. This means that Israel and the Church are distinct and their promises cannot be transferred.

So when Dispensationalists read about the temple in Revelation 11 they instinctively understand it to be talking about a physical temple located on this earth in the future. They believe that God has unfinished business with the Jews, that there are promises he gave to them which he still needs to fulfil. They need to be given the full extent of their land, the land which God told Abraham to stir up the dust as he walked over it (Genesis 13:17), and they need to be glorified as the world's top nation. When they read about the millennium in Revelation 20 they see this as the fulfilment of God's promises to send the Messianic Davidic king to rule the earth.

But all of this sounds like nonsense to Covenant Theologians. Because they believe that Israel and the Church are the one thing, and because the NT pretty clearly indicates that the promise and inheritance of the Christian is life in the new heavens and new earth, they understand God's promises to Israel to be the same. God may have promised to give Abraham's descendants some land, and he did give them a partial blessing in the land of Canaan, but what he was really promising them was the new heavens and new earth. If that's what God always intended, then why would Jesus delay it so that he could rule on this broken planet for a measly 1000 years?

Now I haven't discussed post-millennialism at all, because to be honest I don't really understand it. There are very few post-mills around now, I really only know of one (Doug Wilson). But I'm sure that, as with the others, those who are post-mill would have a particular meta-narrative which leads them to interpret Revelation as they do.

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  • There are lots of covenant theologians who fall into classical (post-trib) premillennialism and postmillennialism camps, usually because they have difficulty treating Revelation 20 as figuratively as the amillennials do, or, in the post-mill case, they are more optimistic about the power of the gospel to actually transform the world than the rest of us are. – Nathaniel is protesting Sep 19 '15 at 2:16
  • @Nathaniel Yeah there are lots of complexities. But I think in general the Dispensationalism<->pre and CT<->a-mill pattern applies. And yes I have thought that post-mill is just optimistic a-mill, but I know it's more complicated than that. – curiousdannii Sep 19 '15 at 2:20

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