The Development of a Literalist Christian Zionist Hermeneutic

Dr. Stephen R. Sizer

The Revd. Dr. Stephen Sizer is the vicar of Christ Church, Virginia Water, Surry. He is acting Chairman of Living Stones, Chairman of the International Bible Society (UK), and an area tutor at the School of Theology, Westminister College, Oxford. He has written three books: Panorama of the Bible Lands, In the Footsteps of Jesus and the Apostles, and Christian Zionism, Road Map to Armageddon?.

The literal interpretation of Scripture, as opposed to the allegoricalism found in Roman Catholicism, was generally normative among Protestant denominations from the Reformation until the rise of liberalism in the 19th Century.5 From the early 19th century literalism increasingly became associated with evangelicalism and fundamentalism to the point where today they are now virtually synonymous.6 Within this broad movement, which was predominantly postmillennial in outlook, the development of a distinctive Christian Zionist hermeneutic can be dated to the early 19th Century and the influence of a group of British and Irish evangelical leaders who began meeting together to study what they perceived to be as yet 'unfulfilled' prophecies concerning the Jews. The Albury conferences brought together Edward Irving's innovative and pessimistic form of premillennialism, Lewis Way's preoccupation with the literal and futurist fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies and Joseph Wolff's quest for the 'lost tribes' of Israel. These meetings and those held subsequently at Powerscourt in Ireland and the journals and books published by the Albury Circle, such as in the Morning Watch, provided the catalyst for what became the increasingly popular conviction that God had a continuing and separate purpose for the Jewish people, apart from the Church. The Albury Circle popularised the belief in the imminent rediscovery of the ten lost tribes, their mass conversion and return to Palestine just prior to the return of the Messiah. While the conviction that such events would occur in their own life time proved unfounded, the belief that such events were nevertheless predicted in the Bible became the theological foundation for 20th Century Christian Zionism.

Edward Irving and the Revival of 19th Century Premillennialism
The revival of premillennialism in the nineteenth century as well as the novel doctrine of the rapture, have been attributed to the Scottish preacher, Edward Irving7
. Set against the prevailing utopianism which saw the founding of many missionary societies following the Great Revivals of the 18th Century and the ministry of the evangelists such as the Wesleys and Whitfield, Irving's critical pessimism provoked a furore.8 A popular Scottish preacher working in London, Irving had been invited to preach at the annual service of the London Missionary Society in 1824, and a year later in 1825 to the Continental Society. Irving's address in 1825 was entitled, 'Babylon and Infidelity Foredoomed'. In reaction to the prevailing optimistism and postmillennial drive toward missionary expansion, Irving predicted that the world was about to experience a 'series of thick-coming judgments and fearful perplexities' before the imminent return of Jesus Christ.9 Irving insisted that missionary work, especially in Southern Europe where the Continental Society concentrated its ministry, was utterly futile because God's judgement was about to fall on these lands of the former Roman Empire. Some walked out of the meeting in protest while the leaders of the Society accused Irving of undermining their ministry.10

The origin of what came to be known as a 'futurist view' of end time prophecy, upon which Irving based his innovative eschatology, has been attributed to the works of a 16th century Jesuit, Francesco Ribera, whose writings were later popularised in the 19th century by another Spanish Jesuit, Manuel Lacunza. Lacunza used the pseudonym Juan Josafat Ben-Ezra, allegedly a converted Jew, for his book, 'The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty'. Available in Spanish and manuscript form from the 1790's, it was Edward Irving's English translation of 1827 which brought the work to popular attention.11
Irving's 203 page preface to the translation indicated his own emerging prophetic speculations about the end of the world, the apostasy of Christendom, the restoration of the Jews and the imminent return of Christ.

As early as 1828 the critical Christian Observer attributed to Irving and his Albury colleague M'Neile responsibility for the controversial teaching that God was about to destroy the world and inaugurate a 'whole new dispensation' on earth. Those who opposed Irving's views among the established mission agencies saw themselves as 'ministers of mercy, and not of wrath'.12
Irving become increasingly preoccupied with speculative interpretations of the apocalyptic writings, especially of Daniel and Revelation. He predicted, for example, that the Church had suffered under Papal rule from 533 when Justinian recognised the Bishop of Rome as head of the Church until 1793. He saw the French Revolution and Industrial Revolution as evidence of the "signs of the end". The first six vials referred to in the Book of Revelation had been poured out, while he argued the seventh vial referred to the 1820's. This final era would see the final battle of Armageddon, the Second Advent and the beginning of the Millennium.13 Irving's prophetic views came to have a profound influence on many other Christian leaders and politicians not least John Nelson Darby, the founder of the Brethren as well as Henry Drummond who, together with Irving, founded the Catholic Apostolic Church.

The Albury Circle and the "Unfulfilled Prophecy" Conferences
On the first day of Advent in 1826, the same year Irving was translating Lacunza's work on the Second Advent14
, Henry Drummond opened his home at Albury Park to a select group of invited evangelical leaders for a week long retreat to discuss matters of unfulfilled prophecy. This was to become the first of five annual conferences held there until 1830.

Henry Drummond was a banker, Member of Parliament and at one time High Sherif of Surrey.15
Significantly, he was the Vice President of the recently formed London Jews Society as well as influential in the Continental Society. Besides Henry Drummond, those who attended included nineteen Anglican, two Dissenting and four Church of Scotland ministers. The Anglicans included Lewis Way and Joseph Wolff of the London Jews Society, Hugh M'Neile the Irish Rector of Albury and eventually Dean of Liverpool, Daniel Wilson who became Bishop of Calcutta, Hatley Frere, Spencer Percival and John Tudor, who became the editor of the Morning Watch, the short-lived quarterly journal of the 'Albury Circle'. The Church of Scotland representatives included Edward Irving and his friend Robert Story of Rosneath.16 Later participants included Lady Powerscourt of Dublin.

According to Roy Coad, the Brethren historian, Albury became, 'the centre for wild speculation'.17
It lay the seeds not only for 19th Century Millenarianism and Darby's Dispensationalism but also the future direction of the London Jews Society and Christian Zionism. The rise of biblical literalism, so central to Christian Zionism, and a renewed interest in the Jews, can be clearly attributed to Edward Irving, Lewis Way and their associates at the Albury Conference of 1826.18

In 1821, Way had published a pamphlet called 'The Latter Rain' in which he called Christians to pray for the Jews in the belief that the prophecies of the Old Testament had a, 'primary and literal reference to the Jews' rather than the Church.19
Hugh M'Neile, one of the Albury Circle, published a similar but longer book, 'The Prophecies Relative to the Jewish Nation.' in 1830.20 Like Irving and subsequently Darby also, M'Neile advocated a separate status for the Jews from the Church which, he claimed, existed within different dispensations. He believed that the future repentance and then restoration of the Jews, as well as their pre-eminence on earth, were the result of a literal reading of Old Testament prophecies. He was also preoccupied, like Joseph Wolff, with locating the so called ten 'Lost Tribes' of Israel, so indispensable to any future restoration.21 Edward Irving compared the first Albury conference with that of the Apostles in Jerusalem in Acts 15 and acknowledged the influence of Wolff's knowledge of Hebrew.
    No appeal was allowed but to the Scriptures, of which the originals lay before us; in the interpretation of which, if any question arose, we had the most learned Eastern scholar perhaps in the world to appeal to, and a native Hebrew. I mean Joseph Wolff.22

Edward Miller's quotations from Irving's notes of the first Albury conference in 1826 confirm that the origin of the dispensational distinction between the Jews and the Church and the restoration of the Jews before the return of Christ may be attributed to Edward Irving.23

    ...perfect unanimity on the following points:- (I) That the Christian Dispensation was to be terminated, ending in the destruction of the visible Church, like the Jewish; during which 'judgements' the Jews were to be restored to Palestine. (II) 'The judgements' were to fall principally, if not exclusively, upon Christendom. (III) That 'the 1,260 years' commenced with Justinian and terminated in 1793, and that the vials of the Apocalypse then began to be poured out; that our blessed Lord will then appear, and that therefore it is the duty of all to press these considerations on the attention of all men.24

The conference of 1828 similarly focussed on speculation concerning the imminent restoration of the Jews. Irving, for example, records the momentous news which Drummond shared of the discovery of some 20 million of the 'ten lost Hebrew' tribes allegedly now living in Cashmere.25 It is possible that Joseph Wolff's lifelong search for the 'Ten Tribes' which began in the same year may have been sparked off by this 'discovery'.26 In the later conferences the emphasis shifted to the imminent Last Days 'preparations' or signs of the Second Coming.27

In 1866, Hugh M'Neile, whom Drummond had appointed Rector of Albury, looked back and acknowledged how, a generation earlier in the 1830's, such futurist interpretations of the prophetic books of Daniel and Revelation advocated by himself, Way and Irving had been viewed as something of a novelty by sceptics he describes as 'anti-restorationists'.28 He admits that it had, 'no place in the battle-field of the Reformation' or among theologians in the 18th century.

    It was just beginning to be ventilated in consequence of the labours of Mr. Lewis Way and Mr. Hawtrey; and more especially in consequence of the writings of Mr. Faber, and the zealous advocacy of Mr. Simeon.29

Irving rejoiced that the 'Albury Circle' had caused a sea change in Millennial speculation and how, 'the truth of his Son's glorious advent maketh winged speed in all the churches.'30 The Albury Circle, principally Irving, Drummond, Way, Wolff, M'Neile and Lady Powerscourt, were probably the most significant influence in the development of a literalist and futurist hermeneutic which in turn gave rise to both Dispensationalism and Christian Zionism. Between 1830 and 1834, following the model established at Albury, Lady Powerscourt hosted a series of similar prophetic conferences at Powerscourt Castle near Dublin, under the growing influence of J. N. Darby, to whom she was engaged to be married.

John Nelson Darby's Contribution to a Literalist Hermeneutic
John Nelson Darby is regarded by many as the father of dispensationalism and the most influential figure in the development of its prodigy, Christian Zionism31
. Darby defended his own literalist dispensational hermeneutic on two grounds. First, because, he claimed, others had not studied the Scriptures correctly.

    The covenant is a word common in the language of a large class of Christian professors... but in its development and detail, as to its unfolded principles, much obscurity appears to me to have arisen from a want of simple attention to Scripture.32

Second, Darby insisted that his own interpretation, over against that of the Millenarians, was correct because the Lord had revealed it to him by special revelation.

    ...what God has with infinite graciousness revealed to me concerning His dealing with the Church... it was in this the Lord was pleased, without man's teaching, first to open my eyes on this subject, that I might learn His will concerning it throughout.33

Darby's literal hermeneutic, typical of popular Christian Zionist writers today, might be summed up in his own words, 'I prefer quoting many passages than enlarging upon them.'34 In response to the negative reaction his controversial teaching about a future dispensation of Jews on earth after the church had been removed, Darby wrote,

    ...I believe it to be the one true Scriptural ground of the church... Christ coming to receive us to Himself; and collaterally with that, the setting up of a new earthly dispensation... It was a vague fact that received form in my mind long after, that there must be a wholly new order of things...35

Even Coad, in his otherwise positive history of the Brethren Movement, admits that 'For the traditional view of the Revelation, another was substituted.'36 Barr is less sympathetic arguing premillennial dispensationalism was, '...individually invented by J. N. Darby... concocted in complete contradiction to all main Christian tradition...'37 It was Cyrus Scofield, however, and principally his Scofield Reference Bible, who synthesised and popularised a literalist and futurist reading of Scripture based on Irving and Darby's distinctive rupture between the Church and Israel.

Scofield's Hermeneutic - Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
According to one of Darby's biographers, 'His perceptions of Scriptural truths are the source from which Scofield Reference Bibles get their characteristic notes.'38
Others have noted that the resemblance between Scofield and Darby 'is deep and systematic.'39 It is significant, however, that neither in the Introduction to his Reference Bible, nor in the accompanying notes does Scofield acknowledge his indebtedness to Darby, any more than Darby credited Irving. In 1888 Scofield published his first work called 'Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth'.40 In it Scofield presented the hermeneutical principles of dispensationalism he had allegedly been teaching his Bible classes and which would become the theological presuppositions behind the notes of his Scofield Reference Bible. Not surprisingly, it was the Plymouth Brethren 'house' publishers, Loizeaux Brothers of New York, who printed the first edition,41 and continued to do so, a century later.42 The key text upon which Scofield based his scheme is the Authorised translation of 2 Timothy 2:15, in which the Apostle Paul calls upon Timothy to, '... rightly divide the word of truth.' Scofield took this as the title for his first book which elaborated on how the Bible should be divided into discrete dispensations.43

    The Word of Truth, then, has right divisions, and it must be evident that, as one cannot be 'a workman that needeth not to be ashamed' without observing them, so any study of that Word which ignores these divisions must be in large measure profitless and confusing. The purpose of this pamphlet is to indicate the more important divisions of the Word of Truth...44

The first lesson sets the tone for all future Dispensational teaching offering a novel 'literal' interpretation of the verse 'Give no offence, neither to the Jews, nor the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.' (1 Corinthians 10:32). On the basis of this verse, Scofield justified the division of the world into three classes of people, Jews, Gentiles and the Church, an idea that is now the 'warp and woof of Dispensational teaching.'45 Others perceive that The New Testament more accurately delineates two classes of people, those who believe in Jesus Christ and those who do not, irrespective of their racial origins.46 Scofield, like Darby, insisted that promises made to the Jews in the Old Testament could not be applied to the Church in the New Testament.

    Not one instance exists of a 'spiritual' or figurative fulfilment of prophecy... Jerusalem is always Jerusalem, Israel is always Israel, Zion is always Zion... Prophecies may never be spiritualised, but are always literal.47

Scofield's literalism extended even to exact verbal phraseology. This led him to claim, for example, that there are seven dispensations, eight covenants, and eleven great mysteries.48 To justify this perpetual and 'eternal' distinction between Israel and the Church, even under the New Covenant, Scofield insisted that Israel is the 'earthly wife' of God and the Church is actually the 'heavenly bride'' of Christ. Commenting on Hosea 2:2, Scofield writes,

That Israel is the wife of Jehovah (see vs. 16-23), now disowned but yet to be restored, is the clear teaching of the passages. This relationship is not to be confounded with that of the Church to Christ (John 3.29, refs.)... The N.T. speaks of the Church as a virgin espoused to one husband (2 Cor. 11.1,2); which could never be said of an adulterous wife, restored in grace. Israel is, then, to be the restored and forgiven wife of Jehovah, the Church the virgin wife of the Lamb (John 3.29; Rev. 19. 6-8); Israel Jehovah's earthly wife (Hos. 2, 23); the Church the Lamb's heavenly bride (Rev. 19.7)49

Scofield therefore concluded that Israel and the Church were separate bodies. 'A forgiven and restored wife could not be called either a virgin (2 Cor. 11: 2,3), or a bride.'50 Such novel teaching about two separate people of God - that of an 'earthly wife' and a 'heavenly bride' contradicts other passages such as John 10:16 and Romans 11:24, neither of which warrant any comment in Scofield's Reference Bible. Scofield's footnotes and systematised scheme of hermeneutics, however, were seen as inspired and used as a test of orthodoxy among fundamentalists in the early 20th Century.

    Charles G. Trumball, late editor of the Sunday School Times, spoke of the Scofield Bible in the following terms, in his book, The Life Story of C. I. Scofield: 'God-planned, God-guided, God-energized work.'51

One of Scofield's disciples, Lewis Sperry Chafer who founded Dallas Theological Seminary in 1924, became his most articulate and influential exponent, producing the first and definitive eight volume systematic theology of Dispensationalism based on Scofield's scheme. Before his death in 1952 Chafer described what he perceived to be his greatest academic achievement. 'It goes on record that the Dallas Theological Seminary uses, recommends, and defends the Scofield Bible.'52

A Dispensational Definition of Biblical Literalism
Lewis Chafer defines the literal hermeneutic upon which dispensationalism and contemporary Christian Zionism is based in the following way.

    The outstanding characteristic of the dispensationalist is... That he believes every statement of the Bible and gives to it the plain, natural meaning its words imply.53

The biblical text therefore needs little or no human interpretation. Like Chafer, Charles Ryrie insists that it is only dispensationalists who are consistent in applying a literal interpretation.

    To be sure, literal/historical/grammatical interpretation is not the sole possession or practice of dispensationalists, but the consistent use of it in all areas of biblical interpretation is.54

Louis Goldberg claims that it is those who reject a literalist hermeneutic who are imposing their theological framework on the Scriptures.

    ...two established rules of interpretation are as follows: 1) "When Scripture makes common sense use no other sense;" 2) "Prophecy ... must be interpreted literally ... The reason a non-literal method of interpretation is adopted is, almost without exception, because of a desire to avoid the obvious interpretation of the passage. The desire to bring the teaching of Scripture into harmony with some predetermined system of doctrine instead of bringing doctrine into harmony with the Scriptures has kept this practice alive."
    The point is that we have to let the prophetic Scriptures speak on their own without reading into them!55

However, without the foundational dispensational presupposition that God's purposes for Israel and the Church are and remain eternally separate, Chafer insists the Bible is incomprehensible.

    [Dispensationalism] has changed the Bible from being a mass of more or less conflicting writings into a classified and easily assimilated revelation of both the earthly and heavenly purposes of God, which purposes reach on into eternity to come.56

Chafer taught that without this dispensational distinction between Israel and the Church, a simple literal reading along with other 'non literal' methods of interpretation are confusing and lead to internal inconsistency. Dwight Pentecost, also of Dallas Theological Seminary similarly insists,

Scripture is unintelligible until one can distinguish clearly between God's program for his earthly people Israel and that for the Church.57

Patrick Goodenough of the International Christian Embassy explains the consequences of this simple 'literal' hermeneutic.

    We simply believe the Bible. And that Bible, which we understand has not been revoked, makes it quite clear that God has given this land as an eternal inheritance to the Jewish people.58

In the 1980's the Churches Ministry Among Jewish People went further, locating the origin of what they term a 'spiritualised' reading of the Bible in the heresy of Marcion who proposed the abandonment of the Old Testament.

    But that was unacceptable to the Church and a better way to de-Judaise the Hebrew Scriptures was "Christianise" the Hebrew Scriptures so as to spiritualise the text and read New Testament concepts into the text. That view is still prevalent today.59

Hal Lindsey also attributed the development of erroneous views concerning Israel to an allegorical, non-literal hermeneutic allegedly advocated by Origen.60 Others, however, have argued that it was the consistent approach of the Post-Apostolic Fathers, including Origen, to interpret the Hebrew Scriptures typologically, that is as 'types' of New Testament realities61, as the Apostles had done before them.62 In his commitment to literalism, Lindsey and other dispensationalists do not distinguish between figurative or typological approaches acknowledged by covenantal theologians from the allegorical methods of interpretation seen typically in pre-Reformation Roman Catholicism.63 The distinction between these two methods of interpretation is significant since the former places particular emphasis on the historical context of passages as well as the way scripture interprets scripture.64 An allegorical approach finds eternal truths in the Bible without reference to their historical setting. A typological approach highlights the way New Testament writers see Jesus Christ to be the fulfilment of many Old Testament images and types.65 There is good evidence that a typological interpretation of the Old Testament was consistently followed by the Church from the 1st Century, and did not arise with Origen as Lindsey alleges.66

The Political Implications of a Zionist Literalist Hermeneutic
It is when such a literalist hermeneutic, combined with the dispensational distinction between Israel and the Church, is applied to the prophetic books of Ezekiel, Daniel and Revelation, that the political ramifications of Christian Zionism are seen to be so controversial. Hal Lindsey, for example, has been largely responsible for popularising a futurist and predictive view of ancient prophecies applying promises made to the ancient Jews to the contemporary State of Israel.

    The center of the entire prophetic forecast is the State of Israel. Certain events in that nation's recent history prove the accuracy of the prophets. They also force us to accept the fact that the 'countdown' has begun... The information in the book you're about to read is more up-to-date than tomorrow's newspaper... I think you will be surprised to see what kind of predictions were made almost two thousand years ago!67

Lindsey's eschatological speculations, while criticised by some dispensationalists68, are nevertheless representative of numerous other popular Christian Zionist writers such as Tim LaHaye69, Mike Evans70, John Hagee71, Randall Price72, Charles Dyer73, Grant Jeffrey74 and Dave Hunt75. Leslie Flynn of Jews for Jesus, for example, illustrates how Old Testament prophecies can be used to describe future events and thereby reinforce a Zionist agenda.

    "The Jews are God's timepiece," ..They are the key to history and prophecy... God's unconditional covenant with Abraham, which includes the promise of the land, a seed to rule over the land and the blessing his offspring will be to all humankind... the regathering of Israel and her central place among the nations.76

While not a dispensationalist, Basilea Schlink, on the basis of a literalist reading of the Bible, similarly equates the ancient Jews with the contemporary State of Israel, and elevates them to a privileged status far above human sanction or criticism. Indeed she warns that those who reject such a conclusion are opposing God.

    Anyone who disputes Israel's right to the land of Canaan is actually opposing God and his holy covenant with the Patriarchs. He is striving against sacred, inviolable words and promises of God, which He has sworn to keep.77

The outworking of this hermeneutic can also be seen in the conclusions Anne Dexter reaches concerning the territorial extent of Israel.

    Some Arab believers and expatriate Christians in Israel feel so strongly about these matters that they will not read the parts of the Bible that seem to promise the land to the Jews or in any way uphold their election. Examples of this are certain sections of Isaiah and the song of Zechariah in Luke. Large parts of the Scriptures are effectively invalidated by this approach.78

The implication is clear, only those who read the Bible 'literally' are being faithful to the integrity of the Scriptures. It is interesting to obgserve how far this literalism is sometimes pressed by Christian Zionists. For example, while the promises of blessing made to Abraham in Genesis 12 were made personally to the patriarch, the International Christian Embassy not only applies them to the way other nations treat the State of Israel today but insists the promises also provide divine justification for Israel's continued occupation of parts of Syrian and Palestine.

    The Lord in His zealous love for Israel and the Jewish People blesses and curses peoples and judges nations based upon their treatment of the Chosen People of Israel... According to God's distribution of nations, the Land of Israel has been given to the Jewish People by God as an everlasting possession by an eternal covenant. The Jewish People have the absolute right to possess and dwell in the Land, including Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan.79

Mike Evans, Founder and President of Lovers of Israel Inc., interprets the same passage in Genesis as meaning that as long as the United States supports Israel, it will survive and prosper. He argues that demonic forces are attempting to force America to betray Israel and that America's very survival will depend on her continued support of Israel.80

An Appraisal of the Christian Zionist Hermeneutic

With sales of over 40 million books in over 50 languages, Hal Lindsey is undoubtedly the most influential Christian Zionist writer today.82 This appraisal will therefore use Lindsey's own writings as illustrative of, as well as representative of, other Christian Zionist writers apply a 'litreral' hermeneutic.

Changing Interpretation
It is noticeable how some authors have altered their interpretations to suit changing events.83
For example, in There's a New World Coming (1973), Lindsey was relatively circumspect in his interpretation of what some of the symbols used in the Book of Revelation.

    I personally tend to think that God might utilize in his judgments some modern devices of man which the Apostle John was at a loss for words to describe nineteen centuries ago! In the case just mentioned, the locusts might symbolize an advanced kind of helicopter...84

By the time he wrote Apocalypse Code (1997), 24 years later, however, as new and more destructive military hardware became available, Lindsey's speculations became more dogmatic and specific. So, for example, "might symbolize" becomes what the apostle John "actually saw."

    Just exactly how could a first century prophet describe, much less understand, the incredible advances in science and technology that exist at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries? Yet he testified and God bore witness that he actually saw and heard things like:
    supersonic jet aircraft with missiles... advanced attack helicopters... intercontinental ballistic missiles with Multiple Independently Targeted Reentry Vehicles tipped with thermonuclear warheads... biological and chemical weapons, aircraft carriers, missile cruisers, nuclear submarines, laser weapons, space stations and satellites...85
    Attempting to keep pace with the dramatic geo-political changes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, Lindsey insisted in 1981 and again in 1994 that his, by then, apparently contradictory assessments of Russia were, nevertheless, both predicted in the Bible.
1980's Countdown to Armageddon Planet Earth 2000 A.D.
    Today, the Soviets are without question the strongest power on the face of the earth. Lets look at recent history to see how the Russians rose to the might predicted for them thousands of years ago.86
We see Russia as no longer a world threat, but a regional power with a world-class military - exactly what Ezekiel 38 and 39 predicted it would be.87
    With the gradual demise of Russia as a world power, and the disintegration of the communist empire, Lindsey began to switch his emphasis to Islam as the real threat to Israel and world peace.88The greatest threat to freedom and world peace today - is Islamic fundamentalism...89
Late Great Planet Earth (1970) Apocalypse Code (1997)
The Russian force will establish command headquarters on Mount Moriah or the Temple area in Jerusalem. ...he seeks to utterly destroy the Jewish people.90 ...the Russian-Muslim force retreats back to Israel and sets up command HQs on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. These forces try to annihilate the Jews as they do this.91
    In The Late Great Planet Earth (1970), the threat comes from "The Russian force." By 1997 this had become, "The Russian-Muslim force." By 1999 Lindsey's Bible was predicting that the power of trhe Anti-Christ had shifted to "A Muslim-Russian alliance"92
    Figurative Interpretation
    Although Christian Zionists insist on interpreting Scripture literally, they are not always consistent. David Brickner claims that until recently,
      ...people tended to interpret the Bible's future predictions as symbolic. It was inconceivable to them that the end times events depicted in Scripture could possibly occur in any literal sense. All that has changed...93
    However, in his interpretation of Daniel 9 and the term 'weeks', Brickner looks for a symbolic explanation.
      When Daniel talks about "weeks" (literally units of seven) in this passage, he is not speaking of literal weeks but of periods of time, each a period of seven years94
      In order to give a futurist reading to Daniel's prophecy, it is also necessary for Dispensationalists to posit a 'parenthesis' of 2000 years between the 69th and 70th week. Brickner, offers this explanation.
      The prophecy of Daniel, chapter nine, has not been completely fulfilled. There is more--one "seven" of the seventy still remains to be played out. But there seems to be a break in Daniel's countdown; he indicates a time lapse between the sixty-ninth seven and the final seven. "The end will come like a flood, war will continue until the end and desolations have been decreed." The past 2000 years have been a parenthesis in Daniel's prophecy and we await that final seven: "He will confirm a covenant with many for one seven..."95
    This problem with this interpretation is that it has no biblical justification, here or in any other text. The arbitrary decision to stop the prophetic clock and place a 2000 year gap between Daniel's 69h and 70th week is probably the most eccentric example of a non-literal and unnatural interpretation imposed on the text by those who insist on a literal hermeneutic.96
    Lindsey explains the reasons for his own 'symbolic' approach to the Book of Revelation.
      How could this first-century man describe the scientific wonders of the latter twentieth century? He had to illustrate them with phenomena of the first century; for instance, a thermonuclear war looked to him like a giant volcanic eruption spewing fire and brimstone... Much of the symbolism John used was the result of a first century man being catapulted in God's time machine up to the end of the twentieth century, then returned to his own time and commanded to write what he had seen and heard. The only way that John could obey that instruction was to use phenomena with which he was familiar to illustrate the scientific and technical marvels that he predicts.97
    Using Lindsey's 'Bible Code', the Apostle John's 'locusts' thereby become helicopters, 'horses prepared for battle' are actually heavily armed attack helicopters, 'crowns of gold' are the helmets worn by pilots, and the 'sound of their wings' are the 'thunderous sound of many attack helicopters flying overhead."98 The 'bow' wielded by the Antichrist in Revelation 6:1-2, is actually, "...a code for long range weapons like ICBM's."99 The reference to the "colour of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone" in Revelation 9:17 also becomes the "Chinese national flag... emblazoned on the military vehicles."100 Similarly, while Israel is always Israel, other nations mentioned in prophecy require interpretation. So, following Darby and Scofield, Lindsey equates ancient tribes and nations mentioned in Old Testament prophecies with contemporary enemies of Israel in the Middle East.101
      In Psalm 83, some 3,000 years ago, God gave a warning of what would happen in the last days... In these verses the Philistia or Philistines are the modern Palestinians. Tyre is modern Lebanon. Assyria is modern Syria.102

    What is not always clear is the basis upon which these confident assertions are made.

    Contradictory Interpretation

While dispensationalists claim to use a consistent, plain and literal interpretation of Scripture, at times, even though they share the same theology and eschatology they nevertheless reach very different, and sometimes contradictory, conclusions. For example, in their interpretation of Revelation 9:13-19, Hal Lindsey and M.R. DeHann contradict one another:

M.R. DeHann (1946) Hal Lindsey (1973)
In Revelation 9:13-21 we have a description of an army of two hundred million horsemen... seems to be a supernatural army of horrible beings, probably demons, who are permitted to plague the unrepentant sinners on the earth...103 The four angels of Revelation 9:14-15 will mobilize an army of 200 million soldiers from east of the Euphrates... I believe these 200 million troops are Red Chinese soldiers accompanied by other Eastern allies...104
    For DeHann the 200 million are supernatural beasts while for Lindsey they are literally Chinese soldiers, although the horses are mobilized ballistic missile launchers.105 Both claim theirs is a literal interpretation of the text. It seems rather that their form of hermeneutic is instead 'licensed for full-scale exegetical exploitation.'106
    Enhanced Interpretation
    To assist readers in their understanding of otherwise obscure passages of Scripture, Lindsey, like other authors, has the tendency to add words to the biblical text, absent in the original but which reinforce his interpretation. So, in The Road to Holocaust, for example, where Lindsey is anxious to stress how the promises made in Romans 11 apply to the State of Israel and not merely to Jews generally, he 'adds the word 'national' to the reference to Israel in the text.107
    Similarly, in a quotation of Matthew 24:15-18, Lindsey adds a reference to the rebuilding of the temple, necessary for this prophecy to refer to some future date rather than prior to 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem.
      Therefore when you see the Abomination which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place [of the rebuilt temple] (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains...108
      Moishe Rosen of Jews for Jesus similarly argues that Zechariah's prophecy promising an end to the Babylonian captivity and the return of the Israelites refers to the 20th Century.
      First, the regathering of the Jewish people will take place from the west (represented by Egypt) and from the east (represented by Assyria).109
      One of the most popular but erroneous assumptions Christian Zionists continue to make is that 'Gog' and 'Magog' mentioned in Ezekiel 38:15-16 refer to Russia. Lindsey even adds the word 'Russia' to reinforce his interpretation. 'And you (Russia) will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you...'110
    Lindsey's insistence that Gog and Magog refer to Russia, while repeated by many other Christian Zionist writers111 , has been discredited by biblical scholars and etymologists.112
    Unsubstantiated Interpretation
    Lindsey is particularly prone to making unsubstantiated claims. For example,
      I know from my study of the Bible that the final great war includes Turkey as part of the Islamic grouping allied with Russia... The great nations that do get Biblical reference are the Kings of the East, (China, India, Pakistan - all openly nuclear), Russia (Gog and Magog), Libya, Egypt, Iran, Iraq and so on.113
    Without offering any corroborating evidence, Lindsey claims that the Bible foretold many other recent events including the rise of Muslim fundamentalism, the collapse of the Israeli peace process and the development of the European community, all at the same time in history.114
    Such categorical but unsubstantiated claims are not exclusive to Lindsey but found in the writings of other Christian Zionists.115For example, David Brickner, without explanation, insists that, 'we know that Persia is Iran,'116 and that the destruction of Babylon mentioned in Revelation 18 is 'modern day Iraq.' 117
    Using Hal Lindsey's writings as an example, it has been demonstrated that the apparently plain 'literal' interpretation of Scripture is flexible enough to change to suit historical events, may contradict the findings of other literalists, can involve eisegesis rather than exegesis, and lead to dogmatic and fanciful but unsubstantiated claims about contemporary history.
    It has been shown that historically, it was the development of a literalist-futurist interpretation of biblical prophecy amongst the Albury Circle and then Powerscourt conferences, which eventually gave rise to the dispensational distinction between Israel and the Church so foundational to Christian Zionism. This movement may be traced from the influence and writings of individuals such as Irving, Darby, Scofield through to Chafer, Moody, Ryrie and the wider dispensationalist movement associated with, amongst others, the Brethren, Moody Bible Institute and Dallas Theological Seminary.
    Following Darby, Lindsey and his contemporaries believe 'prophecy is prewritten history'.118 They understand the prophets to be pronouncing with 'prophetic marksmanship'119 predetermined events thousands of years later, giving an 'exciting view'120 of human destiny. In so doing they detach predictions concerning the future from the covenantal context within which the prophecies were originally given. Such a view is at variance with the Hebrew prophets who consistently stress that their intention is to call God's people back to the terms of their covenant relationship. Their role was not primarily to reveal arbitrary and otherwise hidden facts about predestined future events thousands of years later. The truly prophetic element of the Hebrew scriptures yearns for fidelity. God's message to his people is always two edged, promising blessing but also warning of judgement. The future is always conditional upon faith and obedience to God's revealed will. Set within the context of the wider fundamentalist movement, Christian Zionists treat the Hebrew and Christian scriptures as a 'frozen biblical text'121 in which every word is given equal and continuing divine authority. The focus, however, based on highly selective texts, is placed upon a restored Jewish kingdom rather than the Body of Christ, upon the contemporary State of Israel rather than the cross of Christ.122 Their selective hermeneutic leads them to ignore how Jesus and the Apostles reinterpreted the Old Testament123
    It is instead made to speak dogmatically, with no recognition of other perspectives, about present and future events, almost as if the New Testament had never been written.124 Under the Old Covenant, revelation from God came often in shadow, image, form and prophecy. In the New Covenant that revelation finds its consummation in reality, substance and fulfilment in Jesus Christ.125 The question is therefore not whether the promises of the covenant are to be understood literally or spiritually as Christian Zionists like to suggest.126
    It is instead a question of whether they should be understood in terms of Old Covenant shadow or New Covenant reality. This is the most basic hermeneutical error which Christian Zionists consistently repeat. Biblical prophecy is invariably conditional rather than fatalistic and given within the context of the covenant relationship between God and his chosen people. It was the false prophets who flattered the people with promises of peace and prosperity without specifying the covenantal preconditions of repentance and faith.
    The Christian Zionist's particular reading of both history and contemporary events, determined by the dubious exegesis of highly selective biblical texts, as well as their theological presuppositions, is therefore essentially fatalistic, polarised and dualistic. It sets Israel and the Jewish people apart from and above other peoples in the Middle East. In so doing, however unintentionally, it perpetuates, exacerbates and justifies the endemic racism and mistrust plaguing the Middle East because 'The Bible tells them so.'127
    It leads authors such as Lindsey, Hunt and Jeffrey to demonise Russia, China, Islam and the Arab nations. It encourages the continued military and economic funding of Israel by the United States. It identifies with right-wing Israelis who resist negotiating land for peace and instead, it reinforces Israel's apartheid policies, and the settlement and absorption of the Occupied Territories into the State of Israel. It also incites fundamentalist groups committed to destroying the Dome of the Rock and rebuilding the Jewish Temple. Ironically, attempts by Christian Zionists to defend Israel and to refute anti-Semitism, may actually be leading to the very holocaust so abhorred but repeatedly predicted.

    1 For example, David Pawson, When Jesus Returns (London, Hodder, 1998); John MacArthur, The Future of Israel (Chicago, Moody Press, 1991); R.T. Kendall, 'How literally do you read your Bible?" Israel & Christians Today, Summer 2001, p. 9.
    2 Jews for Jesus and the Churches Ministry Among Jewish People (CMJ).
    3 The Ebenezer Trust and Operation Exodus
    4 The International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem, Christian Friends of Israel and Bridges for Peace.
    5 J.I. Packer, 'Infallible Scripture and the Role of Hermeneutics' in Scripture and Truth, eds. D.A. Carson & John D. Woodbridge (Leicester, IVP, 1983), p.345ff.
    6 James Barr, Fundamentalism (London, SCM, 1977); J.I. Packer, Fundamentalism and the Word of God (London, IVF, 1958)
    7 Iain H. Murray, The Puritan Hope: Revival and the Interpretation of Prophecy (Edinburgh, Banner of Truth, 1971), p. 188. Dave MacPherson, The Rapture Plot (Simpsonville, South Carolina, Millennium III Publishers, 1995)
    8 Dallimore, Life., p. 61.
    9 Edward Irving, Babylon and Infidelity Foredoomed of God (Glasgow, Chalmers and Collins, 1826)
    10 Dallimore, Life., p. 62.
    11 Edward Irving, preliminary discourse, 'on Ben Ezra', The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty, by Juan Josafat Ben-Ezra a converted Jew, Translated from the Spanish, with a Preliminary Discourse (London, L.B. Seeley & Sons, 1827); Arnold Dallimore, The Life of Edward Irving, Fore-runner of the Charismatic Movement (Edinburgh, Banner of Truth, 1983), p. 62.
    12 The Christian Observer, June 1828, pp. 398-399. Cited in Michael Hennell, Sons of the Prophets (London, SPCK, 1979), p. 11.
    13 P. E. Shaw, The Catholic Apostolic Church (New York, King's Crown Press, 1946), p. 18, cited in Michael Hennell, Sons of the Prophets, Evangelical Leaders of the Victorian Church (London, SPCK, 1979), p. 11.
    14 Irving, Ben Ezra.,
    15 Iain H. Murray, The Puritan Hope: Revival and the Interpretation of Prophecy (Edinburgh, Banner of Trust, 1971), p. 191.
    16 Andrew L. Drummond, Edward Irving and his Circle (London, James Clarke), p. 133.
    17 Roy Coad, A History of the Brethren Movement (Exeter, Paternoster, 1968), p. 109.
    18 D. W. Bebbington, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain, A History from the 1730's to the 1980's. (London, Unwin Hyman, 1989), p. 88.
    19 Lewis Way, The Latter Rain, 2nd edn (London, 1821), in Bebbington, Evangelicalism., p. 88.
    20 Dean Hugh M'Neile, The Collected Works, Vol. II. The Prophecies Relative to the Jewish Nation (London, The Christian Book Society, [1830] 1878)
    21 M'Neile, Collected Works, Vol. II., pp. 431 ff.
    22 Margaret Oliphant, The Life of Edward Irving, Vol. 1. 2nd Edition (1862) pp. 197-202 393.
    23 Shaw, Catholic., p. 18.
    24 Edward Miller, The History and Doctrines of Irvingism (London, 1878), cited in Drummond, Edward., p. 134.
    25 Oliphant, Life., p. 243.
    26 Drummond, Edward., p. 133.
    27 Morning Watch, no. 7. p. 621. cited in Drummond, Edward, p. 135.
    28 Hugh M'Neile, The Collected Works, Vol. II. The Prophecies Relative to the Jewish Nation (London, The Christian Book Society, 1878), p. 213.
    29 M'Neile, Prophecies., preface to new edition 1866, first published 1830; see also George Stanley Faber, A Treatise on the Genius and Object of the Patriachal, the Levitical and the Christian Dispensations. (London, F.C & J. Rivington, 1823). 2 vols.
    30 Murray, Puritan. p.191.
    31 Donald E. Wagner, Anxious for Armageddon (Waterloo, Ontario, Herald Press, 1995), pp. 81, 88. See also Charles Ryrie, Dispensationalism (Chicago, Moody Press, 1995), pp. 65-71.
    32 J. N. Darby, 'The Covenants.' Collected Writings., Doctrine I. Vol. III. William Kelly, ed. (Kingston on Thames, Stow Hill Bible and Trust Depot, 1962). p. 68.
    33 J. N. Darby, 'Reflections Upon the Prophetic Inquiry, and the Views Advanced in It', Collected Writings., Prophetic I, Vol. II. pp. 6-7; 'Evidence from Scripture for the passing away of the present dispensations' Collected Writings., Prophetic I, Vol. II. p. 108.
    34 Darby, Collected Writings., Vol. 11, p. 363
    35 J. N. Darby, Letters of John Nelson Darby., Vol. 1. (London, Stow Hill Bible and Trust Depot, n.d.), pp. 343-345.
    36 Coad, History., p. 129.
    37 James Barr, Escaping from Fundamentalism (London, SCM, 1984), p. 6.
    38 W. G. Turner, John Nelson Darby (London, Chapter Two, [1901], 1986), back cover.
    39 Gerstner, Wrongly., p. 43.
    40 C. I. Scofield, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (Philadelphia, Philadelphia School of the Bible, 1928)
    41 C. I. Scofield, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (New York, Loizeaux Brothers, 1888)
    42 Canfield, Incredible., p. 122.
    43 C. I. Scofield, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (Philadelphia, Philadelphia School of the Bible, 1928)
    44 Scofield, Rightly., p. 3.
    45 Canfield, Incredible., p. 166.
    46 (John 3:16, 18; 1 Corinthians 12:13)
    47 C.I. Scofield, Scofield Bible Correspondence Course (Chicago, Moody Bible Institute), pp. 45-46.
    48 Scofield, Scofield., Index.
    49 Scofield, Scofield., fn. 1, p. 922.
    50 Scofield, Scofield., fn. 1, p. 1348.
    51 William E. Cox, An Examination of Dispensationalism (Philadelphia, Presbyterian & Reformed, 1974), p. 55-56.
    52 Cited in Gerstner, Wrongly., p. 46
    53 L. S. Chafer, 'Dispensationalism,' Bibliotheca Sacra, 93 (October 1936), 410, 417.
    54 Ryrie, Dispensationalism., p. 40.
    55 Louis Goldberg, 'Whose Land Is It?' Issues, 4.2. Goldberg quotes from Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1964), p. 60.
    56 L. S. Chafer, 'Dispensationalism,' Bibliotheca Sacra, 93 (October 1936) pp. 446-447. Quoted in Daniel P. Fuller, Gospel and Law, Contrast or Continuum? The Hermeneutic of Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology (Grand Rapdis, Michigan, Eerdmans, 1980), pp. 24-25.
    57 Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come (Findlay, Ohio, Dunham, 1958), p. 529.
    58 Kathy Kern, 'Blessing Israel? Christian Embassy Responds' Christian Peacemakers Team, 2 November 1997.
    59 'Replacement Theology: Is the Church the 'Israel of God'?' CMJ Leaflet. n.d.
    60 Hal Lindsey, The Road to Holocaust (New York, Bantam, 1989), pp. 7-8.
    61 For example the Temple and its sacrifices are seen as types or illustrations of Jesus. See Hebrews 9 and Matthew 26:61 "Destroy this Temple and I will rebuild it again in three days."
    62 Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, 5 vols. (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1971-1989), vol. 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600), p. 16. Cited in Gary DeMar & Peter Leithart, The Legacy of Hatred Continues (Tyler, Texas, Institute of Christian Economics, 1989), p. 38; Clement, 'First Epistle.' In Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1. pp. 12-13; Epistle of Barnabas IV. In Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1. p. 138; Justin, Dialogue with Trypho, XI. In Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1. pp. 200-267; Irenaeus, Against Heresies. IV. XXI. 3. In Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1. p. 493;
    63 J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrine, rev. ed. (San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1978), pp. 69-75.
    64 John Goldingay, Approaches to Old Testament Interpretation (Leicester, IVP, 1981), pp. 97-114; Richard Longnecker, Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1975); John Wenham, Christ and the Bible (Guildford, Eagle, 1993)
    65 E. A. Martens, Plot and Purpose in the Old Testament. (Leicester, IVP, 1981); Graeme Goldsworthy, Gospel and Kingdom, A Christian Interpretation of the Old Testament, (Exeter, Paternoster, 1981); According to Plan, The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible, (Leicester, IVP, 1991).
    66 DeMar and Leithart, Legacy., p. 37.
    67 Lindsey, 1980's., p. 11; There's., p. 7.
    68 Craig A. Blaising & Darrell L. Bock, ed. Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 1992, pp. 14-15.
    69 Tim LaHaye, No Fear of the Storm, Why Christians Will Escape All the Tribulation (Sisters, Oregon, Multnomah, 1992)
    70 Mike Evans, Israel, America's Key to Survival (Plainfield, Logos, n.d.);
    71 John Hagee, Final Dawn Over Jerusalem (Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 1998)
    72 Randall Price, The Coming Last Days Temple (Eugene, Oregon, Harvest House, 1999)
    73 Charles Dyer, The Rise of Babylon, Signs of the End Times (Wheaton, Illinois, Tyndale House, 1991); World News and Biblical Prophecy (Wheaton, Illinois, Tyndale House, 1993)
    74 Grant R. Jeffrey, War in the Middle East & The Road to Armageddon (Toronto, Ontario, Frontier Research Publications, 1991)
    75 Dave Hunt, The Cup of Trembling: Jerusalem and Bible Prophecy (Eugene, Oregon, Harvest House, 1995)
    76 JFJ, Publications Page. obtained, 29 October 1996.
    77 Schlink, Israel., p. 22.
    78 Dexter, View., pp. 214-215.
    79 International Christian Zionist Congress Proclamation, International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem. 25-29 February 1996. Note how place names are 'judaized' by the reintroduction of ancient biblical names. This is particularly apparent in the naming of the Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories.
    80 Evans, Israel., p. 221.
    81 For example Ezekiel 33:21-29.
    82 Lindsey, Road., p. 195. For other statistics see George Marsden, Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1991) p. 77, and Michael Lienesch, Redeeming America: Piety and Politics in the New Christian Right (Chapel Hill, North Carolina, North Carolina Press, 1993), p. 311. See also Gary Friesen, 'A Return Visit,' Moody Monthly (May 1988), p. 30; Lindsey's latest publisher, Western Front, is more conservative referring to 'a dozen books with combined world sales of more than 35 million.' Lindsey, The Final Battle (Palos Verdes, California, Western Front, 1995), p. xiii & back cover.
    83 Compare Grant Jeffrey, Armageddon, Appointment with Destiny (Toronto, Frontier research Publications, 1988), pp. 182-187; with Messiah, War in the Middle East & Road to Armageddon (Toronto, Frontier research Publications, 1991), p.268. In the former Jeffrey dates Daniel's 70th seek to the 7 years 1993-2000 and the Lord's return and cleansing of a rebuilt Temple to the 24th of the 9th month in 2000 A.D. In the latter book Jeffrey appears to contradict himself claiming, "We cannot and must not set dates" p. 276.
    84 Lindsey, There's., p. 8. See also page 141 for Cobra helicopters.
    Lindsey, Apocalypse., p. 36.

86 Lindsey, 1980's., p. 68.

87 Lindsey, Planet., p. 216.

88 Lindsey, Chapter 1 of The Final Battle, (Palos Verdes, California, Western Front, 1995), is entitled "The New Islamic Global Threat". p. 1.

89 Lindsey, Planet., p. 171.

90 Lindsey, Late., p. 160.

91 Lindsey, Apocalypse., p. 153.

92 Lindsey, Briefing., 7th January 1999.

93 Brickner, Future., p. 7.

94 Brickner, Future., p. 17.

95 Brickner, Future., p. 18. See also his 'prophetic parenthesis' timetable, p. 130.

96 Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness (Atlanta, American Vision, 1997), p. 81.

97 Lindsey, Israel., pp. 32-33. This chapter is reused heavily in Apocalypse Code, pp. 30-44.

98 Lindsey, Apocalypse., p. 42.

99 Lindsey, Apocalypse., p. 72.

100 Lindsey, Planet Earth: The Final Chapter, p. 247.

101 J. N. Darby, 'The Hopes.,' The Collected Writings, Prophetic I, Vol. II, p. 380; C. I. Scofield, Scofield Reference Bible, fn. 1, p. 883.

102 Lindsey, Final., p. 2.

103 M. R. DeHann, Revelation, 35 Simple Studies in the Major Themes of Revelation (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1946), p. 148;

104 Hal Lindsey, There's A New World Coming (London, Coverdale, 1973), pp. 142-143.

105 Lindsey, There's., p. 143.

106 Frank Kermode, "Can we say absolutely anything we like?" Art, Politics, and Will: Essays in Honour of Lionel Trilling. ed. Quentin Anderson, et. Al. (New York, Basic, 1977), pp. 159-72, Cited in Kathleen Boone, The Bible Tells Them So (London, SCM 1989) p. 44.

107 Lindsey, Road., p. 176.

108 Lindsey, Apocalypse., p. 78.

109 Rosen, Overture., p. 152.

110 Lindsey, 1980's., p. 65.

111 Jeffrey, Armageddon., pp. 98ff.

112 Edwin Yamauchi, Foes from the Northern Frontier (Grand Rapids, Baker, 1982), pp. 19-27.

113 Lindsey, Final., p. 183; Planet Earth: The Final Chapter, p. 213.

114 Lindsey, International Intelligence Briefing, 7th January 1999. Lindsey also claims a 'gigantic fault' runs through the Mount of Olives. Late., p. 174.

115 Charles Dyer, The Rise of Babylon (Wheaton, Illinois, Tyndale House, 1991), p. 198; Grant Jeffrey, Armageddon, Appointment with Destiny ( Toronto, Frontier Research, 1988), pp. 185-187.

116 Brickner, Future., p. 70.

117 Brickner, Future., p. 73.

118 C. Van der Waal, Hal Lindsey and Biblical Prophecy (Neerlandia, Alberta, Canada, Inheritance Publications, 1991), p. 51.

119 Lindsey, Late., back cover.

120 Lindsey, Late., p. 18.

121 Ernest R. Sandeen, "Toward a Historical Interpretation of the Origins of Fundamentalism," Church History 36 (1967), 70. Cited in Gerstner, Wrongly., p. 100.

122 Bass, Backgrounds., p. 151.

123 See Galatians 4 where the Gentiles are now regarded as the children of Sarah and the Jews who have rejected Jesus are the children of Hagar.

124 Kyle regards this form of hermenutics as 'Pesher' which is Aramaic for 'interpretation' Richard Kyle, The Last Days are Here Again, (Grand Rapids, Baker, 1998), p. 199.

125 see Hebrews 1:1-4, 8:13, 10:1.

126 R.T. Kendall, "How literally do you read your Bible?" Israel and Christians Today, Summer 2001, p.9.

127 Kathleen C. Boone, The Bible tells Them So: The Discourse of Protestant Fundamentalism (London, SCM, 1990).