Are Pretribs Consistent in Interpreting the Book of Revelation with the Grammatical-Historical Hermeneutic?

The other day I linked to Clint Archer’s insightful critique of Kevin DeYoung’s supersessionist (aka replacement theology) interpretation of the 144,000 passage in Revelation 7.

I left a comment for him at his blog post (which he oddly shut down all comments for the post soon after I posted it). I highlighted the inconsistency of pretrib interpretation with the book of Revelation. I wrote this:

Thank you for your article. I thought it was well argued. Nevertheless, that frustration with supersessionists can cut both ways in that I often see really bad, strained argumentation from those defending pretribulationism in Scripture; e.g. John being called up to heaven in Rev 4:1 “symbolizes” the rapture of the Church, etc. (disclosure: I am prewrath). So there are theological commitments on both sides.

Pretrib interpreters often (and rightly) decry the spiritualizing of the book of Revelation from amillennial interpreters. But given their own pretrib tradition—and their theological pre-commitments—pretribs commit this same hermeneutical error as well, especially with seeing John being called up to heaven in Revelation 4:1 as symbolizing or representing the pretrib rapture. So pretribulationism is not as hermeneutically pure as the driven snow as they think they are.

This is not to take anything away from Clint Archer’s post against supersessionism, but I think pretribs need to reflect back on their own theological tradition and note their inconsistency in their self-proclaimed grammatical-historical hermeneutic.

Addendum: Clint makes this most ignorant statement: “In fairness if you are going to be wrong on something, eschatology is probably one of the least harmful places to go astray.” How does he read Jesus, Paul, and the book of Revelation and come to that conclusion? (especially since the book of Revelation warns of eternal damnation if you get it wrong: Rev 14:9–12; cf. Matt 24:25).

 

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