Principal of Spurgeon’s College in London | Senior Professor at Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, KY
Jesus and the Kingdom of God (1954)
“Thus, from early times scholars have acknowledged that the saying (Matthew 10:23) has to do with the parousia of Jesus. Today the majority of scholars unhesitatingly adopt this viewpoint.”
(Jesus and the Kingdom of God, p. 286)
(On Christ’s Coming in Psalm 18; Nature of Christ’s Return)
“The Lord of heaven and earth thus comes in all his glory, shaking the world to its foundations, causing the mountains to heave and the ocean floor to be exposed – all for the aid of one sick man! This is a clear expression of the association of the Hebrews’ mind when he though of the coming of God to aid his people: the stepping forth of the Creator evokes the trembling of the whole creation.” (p. 6)
(On Matthew 10:23)
“Thus, from early times scholars have acknowledged that the saying has to do with the parousia of Jesus. Today the majority of scholars unhesitatingly adopt this viewpoint.” (Jesus and the Kingdom of God, p. 286)
(On Mark 13:30 ; Matthew 24:34 ; “Generation Means Race” Theory)
“The meaning of ‘this generation’ is now generally acknowledged. While in earlier Greek genea meant ‘birth,’ ‘progeny,’ and so ‘race,’ in the sense of those descended from a common ancestor, in the LXX it commonly translates the term dor, meaning ‘age,’ ‘age of man,’ or ‘generation’ in the sense of contemporaries. On the lips of Jesus ‘this generation’ always signifies the contemporaries of Jesus, but at the same time always carries an implicit criticism. For Mark the eschatological discourse expounds the implication of the prophecy of judgment in verse 2, and so implies the perversity of ‘this generation,’ which must suffer the doom predicted.
“This generation is not to pass away until ‘all these things happen’ (tauta panta genetai). The first term, tauta, appeared previously in verse 29: ‘When you see these things happening…’ A clearer precedent for tauta panta, however, appears in the question of the disciples in verse 4: ‘When will all these things be, and what is the sign when all these things will be completed?’ The response to the request for a sign has been given, above all in verses 14-15; the question concerning the ‘when’ is answered in verse 30. In view of Mark’s setting of the statement, however, it is difficult to exclude from ‘all these things’ the description of the parousia in verses 24-27″ (pp. 333-334).
(On the Subject of Revelation)
“It is often said that John wrote the Revelation not for his own age but for the church of the end time. Hence the book is made to yield information and ideas such as the prophet had never dreamed of… John was given to see the logical consummation of the tendencies at work, mankind divided to the obedience of Christ or Antichrist. On the canvas of John’s age, therefore, and in the colours of his environment, he pictured the last great crisis of the world” (“Revelation,” in The New Bible Commentary, ed. F. Davidson, 2d ed., 1954, 1169.)
(On Early Date of Revelation)
”The traditional belief that Revelation was written near the close of the reign of the Emperor Domitian, about A.D.96, is likely to be right, thought it is not impossible that it was written in the confused period that immediately followed Nero’s death in A.D.68.” (“Preaching the Eschatological Texts,” in Biblical Preaching: An Expositor’s Treasury, ed.; Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, p. 356)
(On Nero Myth)
“One point must be clarified concerning John’s use of the so-called Nero myth. There is no question that John looked for Nero literally to return from the dead to fulfill the role of the antichrist. He utilized the current expectation to portray the works of the antichrist as those of another Nero, and that for a good reason: Nero was the first Roman emperor to persecute the Christian church, and he did so with such bestial cruelty as to provide a pattern for the beast of Satan to follow in his war with the Lamb (Rev 11:7-10; 13:7; 17:12-14). By his presentation of antichrist as another Nero, John has made it clear that the cult of the emperor is a projection of what will take place when the seeds of its beginning reach their full harvest.” (“Book of Revelation” 1974)
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID
D. A. CARSON
“Of the writing of books on Revelation there is no end. Mercifully, several excellent commentaries are available, to compensate for a good deal of nonsense one finds elsewhere. One of the preacher’s first requirements, before plunging into the ‘application,’ is to find a couple of commentators who understand the nature and purpose of apocalyptic. In this respect we might wisely turn to G. B. Caird . . . or G. R. Beasley-Murray” (D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1984), 75-76.)
WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD
“Thus, in the tale of the woman, Revelation exposes long-standing political-religious beliefs for what they are. British Bible scholar G.R. Beasley-Murray says, John’s use of the Apollo myth “is an astonishing example of communicating the Christian faith through an internationally known symbol” (The New Century Bible Commentary, “Revelation,” p. 192).
Revelation also casts Jesus as the church’s redeemer — the long-awaited Messiah. In doing so, the book redefines the meaning of Old Testament symbols in a final way. Says G.R. Beasley-Murray: “By using this vehicle of expression John has at a stroke claimed the fulfillment of pagan hope and Old Testament promise in the Christ of the Gospel. There is no other deliverer but Jesus” (p. 196).” (Jesus and the Church in Revelation 12)
“This makes sense if we consider a type of modern graphic genre, the political cartoon. G. R. Beasley-Murray calls the political cartoon “the closest modern parallel” to Revelation’s symbols (The New Century Bible Commentary, “Revelation,” p. 17).”
Political cartoons use stereotyped images. Beasley-Murray gives some examples of modern cartoon symbols. Two examples are John Bull, who represents the temper of Britain, and Uncle Sam, the spirit of the United States. The lion also represents Britain and the eagle the United States. Two other symbols are the bear for Russia and the dragon for China.
Often these and other political figures are drawn as caricatures. Says Beasley-Murray, “Frequently the situations depicted are deliberately exaggerated, and even made grotesque, in order that the message may be made plain” (The New Century Bible Commentary, “Revelation,” p. 17). The operative word here is plain. That’s what the symbols of Revelation were to John’s congregations. They were plain, simple and quickly understood. Beasley-Murray explains the point further:
The symbols by which the contemporary political forces and the spiritual powers of heaven and hell are portrayed [in Revelation] were as traditional as Britannia and the British lion, the Russian bear, and the Chinese dragon…. What to the uninitiated modern reader appears grotesque imagery, spoke with power to John’s fellow Christians (The New Century Bible Commentary, p. 17).
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- 08 Sep 2003
I STUDIED AT SPURGEON`S COLLEGE UNDER DR BEASLEY-MURRAY, AND HAVE FOUND HIM TO BE ALWAYS A SOUND EXEGETE, HE KEPT ABREAST OF CONTEMPORARY SCHOLARSHIP IN NEW TESTAMENT STUDIES, BUT HAD AN INDEPENDENT MIND AND COULD DEFEND TRADITIONAL EXEGESIS AND THE RELIABLITY OF THE SCRIPTURAL REVELATION OF REDEMPTION AND THE DIVINE INITIATIVE WITH CONFIDENCE,CLARITY, AND FRESHNESS. BEASLEY-MURRAY AND F.F.BRUCE WERE TYPICAL OF THE BEST KIND OF MODERN BIBLICAL SCHOLARS AND WERE NOT EMBARRASSED TO DEFEND TRADITIONAL EXEGESIS. IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT BOTH MEN WERE DEVOUT BELIEVERS AND LOVED THE SCRIPTURES. GENERATIONS OF STUDENTS CAME UNDER THEIR INFLUENCE AND REPLICATE IN EACH SUCCESSIVE GENERATION THE STAMP OF BEASLEY-MURRAY AND F.F.BRUCES INFLUENCE. GRACIAS DEO. R.ARMSTRONG.
Date: 10 May 2006
I am tired of the focus on the word, “genea”. How about more focus on the word, “genetai”. This with a talk about greek verbs would be good!