Dispensational Premillennialism is a view of the end times that (very, very basically) says that Christ will return to rapture believers, then there will be a tribulation, then the millennium. (something like that. Disp. Premils: please edit. Also, see Caleb's answer on the above related question)

What is the biblical basis for this belief? Also, what logical deductions that support this belief can you make from biblical passages?

If tradition can be a convincing argument, feel free to use it.

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    I think this question would benefit from having either the historic/classic variant or the modern/dispensational variant specified. Your description seems to be of the latter.
    – Caleb
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 21:32
  • @Caleb you're quite right. I'll split it into two questions asap, gotta run for Good Friday choir right now. Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 21:36

2 Answers 2


This question should probably be answered by somebody that believes in dispensationalism as well. (Obviously, from that sentence you all know that I do not.) Nevertheless I will venture a "pre-answer". I will not discuss passages of scripture, that taken together might be understood as supporting the view.

I'd like to put some focus on the hermeneutics behind this view. How do you read the Bible in order to come up with this specific interpretation? I think the following points apply:

  • Unless there is a compelling reason to interpret a passage differently, all scripture should be read literally. The question of genre is not high on the agenda. When reading texts about eschatology in the Bible, they are all considered a topic, not a genre.
  • Thus, there exist no specific apocalyptic genre that needs special consideration. The question what the texts in Revelations, Daniel, Ezekiel, etc meant to the original hearers is therefore low on the agenda. Instead all focus is on how we today can harmonize various sayings in different passages having access to the finished Bible.
  • Specifically, numbers telling passage of time are to be understood literally. Saying that a number only has a symbolic meaning is out of the question.
  • When there is a possible difference between various passages in the scripture, the main solution is not to re-interpret the passage as such, but to apply them in different phases. Thus the second coming is a 2-phase event, all time, including the Old Testament time, is divided in different "dispensations" during which God uses partly different means to help mankind.
  • The "natural Israel" is of utmost importance when God is shaping history. The church age is basically just a phase. It's importance is primarily in preaching the Gospel to the ends of the earth. For the salvation of the individual, this is of course very important, but it is not really important for God's rule of the earth.

Using this hermeneutic approach one can dive in at various places in the Bible to explain Dispensational Premillennialism, since the teaching relies on how to fit different parts of the Bible together. The Bible read this way is (among other things) a puzzle and the pre-trib view is its solution.

(Yes, my bias does show through in this answer. I hope, however, that it does not mean I have explained anything in a false way. I have read substantial amounts of text written by pre-trib theologians.)

  • this absolutely nails the logical basis for dispensationalism. +1, I learned something here! Commented Apr 9, 2012 at 17:38
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    @ipastorn-The reasoning behind Dispensationalism is illogical, violates rules of hermeneutics, and engages in eisegesis to the max. It is an imaginary schematic placed over verses allowing only raptured verses to shine through. See question # 96197 for specific examples of fallacies of exposition by LaHaye and Scofield, main adherents to it.
    – ray grant
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 22:52
  • @curiousdannii-Thank you for your correction and input on this Answer...and patience!
    – ray grant
    Commented Jul 22, 2023 at 21:47

The question of how one interprets scripture should focus on reading and understanding the Bible as a whole, rather than analyzing isolated verses or passages. Also, unless narrowly applied, allegorical or "spiritualized" analysis should be avoided in most instances since no one knows exactly where to draw the line for its use . For example, are we to consider the virgin birth of Jesus an allegory about his sinless life, or do we accept it literally? Of course we take it literally. Then why allegorize other narratives? To avoid embarrassment? Because we do not yet understand it? Much negative talk about a literal millennium originated with Origen and Augustine who lived during a time when a reign of Christ conflicted with a Roman government which had tentatively embraced a young Christianity, and would not look kindly on a new king named Jesus. Hence, they said Christ would "reign in our hearts," not literally.

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