Darrell L. Bock on “Times of the Gentiles” Within Millennial Schemes

Darrell Bock references the “times of the Gentiles” in Luke 21:24 with several eschatological schemes regarding the millennium:

Jerusalem will become a trampled city. Gentiles will have a role in the city until “the times of the Gentiles” are done. This phrase, which marks out an era, suggests that a time will again come when Israel will be prominent in God’s plan. This point is debated among Christians, since many hold that with Jesus’ return comes the new heavens and new earth. This position argues either that there is no thousand-year reign with Jesus’ return (amillennialism) or that the church is the kingdom today and as such fulfills millennial promises (postmillennialism). But others argue that Jesus’ return will begin a thousand-year earthly rule (premillennialism) and include a central role for Israel in that rule. Part of this debate turns on how one takes Revelation 20:1–6. After a return by Jesus (Rev. 19) comes a specific period of rule, marked off by resurrections on each end and distinguished from the new heaven and new earth in Revelation 21–22. Even recognizing the symbolic character of apocalyptic in Revelation, one must interpret the symbolism and referents with some consistency. Revelation 20 seems to foresee an intermediate kingdom before the remaking of the creation in the end—a point for premillennialism. Premillennialists argue that at the end of the time of the Gentiles, a new era of restored prominence for Israel emerges (cf. Acts 3:16–22; Rom. 11:26). Nothing Jesus said in the forty days he spent with the disciples after the resurrection disabused them of the notion that Israel still had a future (cf. Acts 1:6). I believe a premillennial reading of these texts makes the most coherent sense of the Bible’s teaching on eschatology, but it should be noted that this discourse does not get into any of these details.

Bock, Darrell L. (2009-08-19). Luke (NIV Application Commentary, The) (pp. 536-537). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

© 2013, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.

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