Noteworthy Post-Trib Scholars and Persons
Tim LaHaye, author of the popular "Left Behind" series, called post-tribulationists "false teachers" in his commentary on Revelation, Revelation: Illustrated & Made Plain (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975), p. 57. He didn't say that we were simply "mistaken" or "in error," but he labeled us "false teachers." Biblically, this is quite a hefty charge. I have already tried to demonstrate that the post-trib position makes the most sense Biblically, logically and historically. Here I would like to simply list some noteworthy people who are and were post-trib. I highly doubt that LaHaye (or any of his colleagues) would identify all of these men as "false teachers."
F. F. Bruce - Leading evangelical scholar and commentator. He wrote the definitive conservative work on the apostle Paul, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000) as well as various commentaries in the series, New International Commentaries on the NT, Word Biblical Commentaries, New International Greek Testament Commentaries, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, New International Bible Commentaries and numerous other books. He served as general editor of the New International Commentaries on the NT from 1962 to 1990. He was also Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester, England. Bruce is regarded as a leading defender of conservative Christianity.
Millard Erickson - Author of the widely used and respected textbook on systematic theology, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998) as well as numerous other books. He is presently Distinguished Professor of Theology at Baylor University's Truett Seminary and at Western Seminary.
After discussing the pre- and post- positions, Erickson concludes: "When all considerations are evaluated, there are several reasons why the posttribulational position emerges as the more probable . . . all in all, the balance of evidence favors posttribulationism" - Christian Theology, 1230-1231.
A. T. Robertson - Author of one of the most respected Greek grammars in English, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1934) as well as Word Pictures in the New Testament. Robertson is regarded by all as a pioneer of Biblical Greek grammar.
Leon Morris - Co-author of the widely used and respected, An Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992) as well as various commentaries in the series, New International Commentaries on the NT, Tyndale NT Commentaries, Pillar NT Commentaries, The Expositor's Bible Commentary and numerous other books. He is the general editor of Tyndale NT Commentaries and was principal of Ridley College and visiting professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Speaking of the 'catching up' (or rapture) of the saints in the air, he says: "At the same time this is not anything more than a meeting-place. It seems that the Lord proceeds to the earth with his people" (comments on 1 Thess. 4:17). He also notes in 2 Thess. 2:1 that, "Coming and being gathered are combined under one article; the two are closely connected and are parts of one great whole (cf. 1 Thes. 4:16-17)" (comments on 2 Thess. 2:1) - Tyndale NT Commentaries - 1 and 2 Thessalonians. He also identifies the event in 1 Cor. 15:51-52 (a major 'rapture passage' for pre-tribulationists) as the "second coming" - Tyndale NT Commentaries - 1 Corinthians.
Donald Guthrie - Author of the highly respected New Testament Introduction, (Intervarsity Press, 1990) and New Testament Theology (Intervarsity Press, 1981) as well as various commentaries in the series, Tyndale NT Commentaries, New Century Bible Commentaries, The New Bible Commentary and numerous other books. He was also Vice-Principal and Lecturer in New Testament at London Bible College.
He identifies Hebrews 9:28 as refering to the second coming as well as the hope of Christians, "The second coming is said to be for salvation. . . . The emphasis falls on the effect that the second coming of Christ will have on those who are eagerly waiting for him (i.e. Christians)" - (emphasis in original) Tyndale NT Commentaries - Hebrews.
Robert Gundry - Author of a major New Testament survey, A Survey of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994) as well as commentaries on Matthew and Mark. He is presently professor of New Testament and Greek at Westmont College.
He wrote what has become the standard conservative defense of the post-trib position, The Church and the Tribulation (Grand Rapids: Academie books, 1973), as well as a newer book, geared towards the laymen, First the Antichrist (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997).
Douglas Moo - Co-author of the widely used and respected, An Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992) as well as various commentaries in the series, New International Commentaries on the NT, Tyndale NT Commentaries, Wycliffe Exegitical Commentaries, NIV Application Commentaries and Pillar NT Commentaries. He is presently Blanchard Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College.
He defends the post-trib position in Three Views on the Rapture: Pre-, Mid, or Post-Tribulational? (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996).
Robert Mounce - Author of the commentary on Revelation in the New International Commentary on the NT series as well as numerous other books. He was also a member of the original editorial commitee for the NIV Bible.
He identifies the saints presecuted by the antichrist in Revelation 13:8 (as well as other places) as "the church" - The Book of Revelation: A Layman's Commentary and Study Guide - What Are We Waiting For? (Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing Co, 1979).
George Eldon Ladd - Author of a long-time standard textbook on New Testament theology, A Theology of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1993) as well as several other books and commentaries. He was professor of New Testament Exegesis and Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. Ladd is still highly respected as a scholar of New Testament and Eschatology today.
He wrote what is now a classic defense of the post-trib position, The Blessed Hope: A Biblical Study of the Second Advent and the Rapture (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956).
R. C. Sproul
Sproul approvingly quotes David Chilton in the summary of his discussion on the rapture, "The Resurrection . . . will coincide with the Second Coming of Christ and the Rapture of living believers (1 Thess. 4:16-17). Some have tried to evade the force of this text by suggesting a series of resurrections--one at the Rapture, another at the Second Coming (perhaps some years later) . . . Obviously, in terms of these texts, there can be only one Resurrection of beleivers. And this Resurrection, which coincides with the Rapture, will take place on the Last Day" - (emphasis in original) The Last Days According to Jesus (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 170.
Charles Fox Parham - Father of the Pentecostal Movement. (I put this one here for my Pentecostal brothers, many of which seem to think that Pentecostalism and pre-trib are wedded together.)
"In [Parham's] understanding, the end-time events would occur in the following order: the Tribulation, the Rapture, the Second Coming, the Millennium, and the White Throne Judgment . . . He held [the baptism of the Holy Spirit] to be . . . the seal of protection during the Tribulation" - David K. Bernard, A History of Christian Doctrine, Vol 3 (Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press, 1999), 16-17.
Augustine - He is regarded by many as the most influential theologian of all time.
"But he who reads this passage [Daniel 12], even half asleep, cannot fail to see that the kingdom of Antichrist shall fiercely, though for a short time, assail the Church before the last judgment of God shall introduce the eternal reign of the saints" - The City of God, Chapter 23
And Many Others . . .
Barnabas (40-100): "The final stumbling-block (or source of danger) approaches...for the whole [past] time of your faith will profit you nothing, unless now in this wicked time we also withstand coming sources of danger....That the Black One [Antichrist] may find no means of entrance..." (Epistle of Barnabas, 4).
Clement of Rome (40-100): "...the Scripture also bears witness, saying, 'Speedily will He come, and will not tarry'; and, 'The Lord shall suddenly come [Matthew 24:30 coming] to His temple, even the Holy One, for whom ye look'" (I Clement, 23).
Hermas (40-140): "Those, therefore, who continue steadfast, and are put through the fire [of the Great Tribulation that is yet to come], will be purified by means of it....Wherefore cease not speaking these things into the ears of the saints..." (The Pastor of Hermas, Vision 4).
Polycarp (70-167): "He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead" (Epistle to the Philippians, II).
Justin Martyr (100-168): "The man of apostasy [Antichrist], who speaks strange things against the Most High, shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against us the Christians..." (Dialogue With Trypho, 110).
Melito (100-170): "For with all his strength did the adversary assail us, even then giving a foretaste of his activity among us [during the Great Tribulation] which is to be without restraint..." (Discourse on the Resurrection, i, 8).
Irenaeus (140-202): "And they [the ten kings who shall arise] shall lay Babylon waste, and burn her with fire, and shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the church to flight" (Against Heresies, V, 26).
Tertullian (150-220): "The souls of the martyrs are taught to wait [Rev. 6]...that the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the Church of God..." (On the Resurrection of the Flesh, 25).
Hippolytus (160-240): "...the one thousand two hundred and three score days (the half of the week) during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church, which flees from city to city, and seeks concealment in the wilderness among the mountains" (Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, 61).
Cyprian (200-258): "The day of affliction has begun to hang over our heads, and the end of the world and the time of the Antichrist to draw near, so that we must all stand prepared for the battle..." (Epistle, 55, 1).
Victorinus (240-303): "...the times of Antichrist, when all shall be injured" (Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John, VI, 5).
Lactantius (240-330): "And power will be given him [Antichrist] to desolate the whole earth for forty-two months....When these things shall so happen, then the righteous and the followers of truth shall separate themselves from the wicked, and flee into solitudes" (Divine Institutes, VII, 17).
Athanasius (293-373): "...they have not spared Thy servants, but are preparing the way for Antichrist" (History of the Arians, VIII, 79).
Ephraim the Syrian (306-373): "Nothing remains then, except that the coming of our enemy, Antichrist, appear..." (Sermo Asceticus, I).
Pseudo-Ephraem (4th century?): "...there is not other which remains, except the advent of the wicked one [Antichrist]..." (On the Last Times, the Antichrist etc., 2).
Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386): "The Church declares to thee the things concerning Antichrist before they arrive...it is well that, knowing these things, thou shouldest make thyself ready beforehand" (Catechetical Lectures, 15, 9).
Jerome (340-420): "I told you that Christ would not come unless Antichrist had come before" (Epistle 21).
Chrysostom (345-407): "...the time of Antichrist...will be a sign of the coming of Christ..." (Homilies on First Thessalonians, 9).
Augustine (354-430): "But he who reads this passage [Daniel 12], even half asleep, cannot fail to see that the kingdom of Antichrist shall fiercely, though for a short time, assail the Church..." (The City of God, XX, 23).
Venerable Bede (673-735): "[The Church's triumph will] follow the reign of Antichrist" (The Explanation of the Apocalypse, II, 8).
Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153): "There remains only one thing----that the demon of noonday [Antichrist] should appear, to seduce those who remain still in Christ..." (Sermons on the Song of Songs, 33, 16).
Roger Bacon (1214-1274): "...because of future perils [for the Church] in the times of Antichrist..." (Opus Majus, II, p. 634).
John Wycliffe (1320-1384): "Wherefore let us pray to God that he keep us in the hour of temptation, which is coming upon all the world, Rev. iii" (Writings of the Reverend and Learned John Wickliff, D.D., p. 155).
Martin Luther (1483-1546): "[The book of Revelation] is intended as a revelation of things that are to happen in the future, and especially of tribulations and disasters for the Church..." (Works of Martin Luther, VI, p. 481).
William Tyndale (1492-1536): "...antichrist preacheth not Peter's doctrine (which is Christ's gospel)...he compelleth all men with violence of sword" (Greenslade's The Work of William Tindale, p. 127).
Menno Simons (1496-1561): "...He will appear as a triumphant prince and a victorious king to bring judgment. Then will those who persecute us look upon Him..." (Complete Writings..., p. 622).
John Calvin (1509-1564): "...we ought to follow in our inquiries after Antichrist, especially where such pride proceeds to a public desolation of the church" (Institutes, Vol. 2, p. 411).
John Knox (1515-1572): "...the great love of God towards his Church, whom he pleased to forewarn of dangers to come, so many years before they come to pass...to wit, The man of sin, The Antichrist, The Whore of Babylon" (The History of the Reformation..., I, p. 76).
John Fox (1516-1587): "...that second beast prophesied to come in the later time of the Church...to disturb the whole Church of Christ..." (Acts and Monuments, I).
Roger Williams (1603-1683): "Antichrist...hath his prisons, to keep Christ Jesus and his members fast..." (The Bloody Tenent, of Persecution, p. 153).
John Bunyan (1628-1688): "He comes in flaming fire [as Judge] and...the trump of God sounds in the air, the dead to hear his voice..." (The Last Four Things: Of Judgment).
Daniel Whitby (1638-1726): "...after the Fall of Antichrist, there shall be such a glorious State of the Church...so shall this be the Church of Martyrs, and of those who had not received the Mark of the Beast..." (A Paraphrase and Commentary, p. 696).
Increase Mather (1639-1723): "That part of the world [Europe] was to be principally the Seat of the Church of Christ during the Reign of Antichrist" (Ichabod, p. 64).
Matthew Henry (1662-1714): "Those who keep the gospel in a time of peace shall be kept by Christ in an hour of temptation [Revelation 3:10]" (Commentary, VI, p. 1134).
Cotton Mather (1663-1728): "...that New Jerusalem, whereto the Church is to be advanced, when the Mystical Babylon shall be fallen" (The Wonders of the Invisible World, p. 3).
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758): "...continuance of Antichrist's reign [when the Church is persecuted] did not commence before the year of Christ 479..." (A History of the Work of Redemption, p. 217).
John Wesley (1703-1791): "'The stars shall...fall from heaven,' (Revelation, vi. 13)....And then shall be heard the universal shout...followed by the 'voice of the archangel,'...'and the trumpet of God'...(I Thessalonians iv. 16)." (The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., Vol. V, p. 173).
George Whitefield (1714-1770): "...'while the bridegroom tarried,' in the space of time which passeth between our Lord's ascension and his coming again to judgment..." (Gillies' Memoirs of Rev. George Whitefield, p. 471).
David Brainerd (1718-1747): "...and I could not but hope, that the time was at hand, when Babylon the great would fall and rise no more" (Memoirs..., p. 326).
Morgan Edwards (1722-1795): "[Antichrist] has hitherto assumed no higher title than 'the vicar general of Christ on earth'..." (Two Academical Exercises etc., p. 20).
John Newton (1725-1807): "'Fear not temptation's fiery day, for I will be thy strength and stay. Thou hast my promise, hold it fast, the trying hour [Revelation 3:10] will soon be past'" (The Works of the Rev. John Newton, Vol. II, p. 152).
Adam Clarke (1762-1832): "We which are alive, and remain...he [Paul] is speaking of the genuine Christians which shall be found on earth when Christ comes to judgment" (Commentary, Vol. VI, p. 550).
Charles G. Finney (1792-1875): "Christ represents it as impossible to deceive the elect. Matt. 24:24. We have seen that the elect unto salvation includes all true christians." (Lectures on Systematic Theology, p. 606).
Charles Hodge (1797-1878): "...the fate of his Church here on earth...is the burden of the Apocalypse" (Systematic Theology, Vol. III, p. 827).
Albert Barnes (1798-1870): "...he will keep them in the future trials that shall come upon the world [Revelation 3:10]" (Notes on the New Testament, p. 94).
George Mueller (1805-1898): "The Scripture declares plainly that the Lord Jesus will not come until the Apostacy shall have taken place, and the man of sin...shall have been revealed..." (Mrs. Mueller's Missionary Tours and Labours, p. 148).
Benjamin W. Newton (1805-1898): "The Secret Rapture was bad enough, but this [John Darby's equally novel idea that the book of Matthew is on 'Jewish' ground instead of 'Church' ground] was worse" (unpublished Fry MS. and F. Roy Coad's Prophetic Developments, p. 29).
R. C. Trench (1807-1886): "...the Philadelphian church...to be kept in temptation, not to be exempted from temptation..." (Seven Churches of Asia, pp. 183-184).
Carl F. Keil (1807-1888): "...the persecution of the last enemy Antichrist against the church of the Lord..." (Biblical Commentary, Vol. XXXIV, p. 503).
Henry Alford (1810-1871): "Christ is on His way to this earth [I Thessalonians 4:17]..." (The New Testament for English Readers, Vol. II, p. 491).
John Lillie (1812-1867): "In his [Antichrist's] days was to be the great----the last----tribulation of the Church" (Second Thessalonians, pp. 537-538).
F. L. Godet (1812-1900): "The gathering of the elect [Matthew24:31]...is mentioned by St. Paul, 1 Thess. 4:16, 17, 2 Thess. 2:1..." (Commentary on Luke, p. 452).
Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1842): "Christians must have 'great tribulation'; but they come out of it" (Bonar's Memoirs of McCheyne, p. 26).
S. P. Tregelles (1813-1875): "The Scripture teaches the Church to wait for the manifestation of Christ. The secret theory bids us to expect a coming before any such manifestation" (The Hope of Christ's Second Coming, p. 71).
Franz Delitzsch (1813-1890): "...the approaching day is the day of Christ, who comes...for final judgment" (Commentary on Hebrews, Vol. II, p. 183).
C. J. Ellicott (1819-1905): "[I Thessalonians 4:17] 'to meet the Lord,' as He is coming down to earth..." (Commentary on the Thessalonian Epistles, p. 66).
Nathaniel West (1826-1906): "[The Pre-Trib Rapture] is built on a postulate, vicious in logic, violent in exegesis, contrary to experience, repudiated by the early Church, contradicted by the testimony of eighteen hundred years...and condemned by all the standard scholars of every age" (The Apostle Paul and the "Any Moment" Theory, p. 30).
Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910): "He will keep us in the midst of, and also from, the hour of temptation [Revelation 3:10]" (The Epistles of John, Jude and the Book of Revelation, p. 266).
J. H. Thayer (1828-1901): "To keep [Revelation 3:10]:...by guarding, to cause one to escape in safety out of" (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 622).
Adolph Saphir (1831-1891): "...the advent of the Messiah...to which both the believing synagogue and the church of the Lord Jesus Christ are looking..." (The Epistle to the Hebrews, Vol. I, p. 96).
M. R. Vincent (1834-1922): "The preposition ['from'] implies, not a keeping from temptation, but a keeping in temptation [Revelation 3:10]..." (Word Studies..., p. 466).
William J. Erdman (1834-1923): "...by the 'saints' seen as future by Daniel and by John are meant 'the Church'..." (Notes on the Book of Revelation, p. 47).
H. Grattan Guinness (1835-1910): "...the Church is on earth during the action of the Apocalypse..." (The Approaching End of the Age, p. 136).
H. B. Swete (1835-1917): "The promise [of Revelation 3:10], as Bede says, is 'not indeed of your being immune from adversity, but of not being overcome by it'" (The Apocalypse of St. John, p. 56).
William G. Moorehead (1836-1914): "...the last days of the Church's deepest humiliation when Antichrist is practicing and prospering (Dan. viii:12)..." (Outline Studies in the New Testament, p. 123).
A. H. Strong (1836-1921): "The final coming of Christ is referred to in: Mat. 24:30...[and] I Thess. 4:16..." (Systematic Theology, p. 567).
Theodor Zahn (1838-1933): "...He will preserve...at the time of the great temptation [Revelation 3:10]..." (Zahn-Kommentar, I, p. 305).
I. T. Beckwith (1843-1936): "The Philadelphians...are promised that they shall be carried in safety through the great trial [Revelation 3:10], they shall not fall" (The Apocalypse of John, p. 484).
Robert Cameron (1845-1922): "The Coming for, and the Coming with, the saints, still persists, although it involves a manifest contradiction, viz., two Second Comings which is an absurdity" (Scriptural Truth About the Lord's Return, p. 16).
B. B. Warfield (1851-1921): "...He shall come again to judgment...to close the dispensation of grace..." (Biblical Doctrines, p. 639).
David Baron (1855-1926): "(Tit. ii. 13), for then the hope as regards the church, and Israel, and the world, will be fully realised" (Visions of Zechariah, p. 323).
Philip Mauro (1859-1952): "...'dispensational teaching' is modernistic in the strictest sense...it first came into existence within the memory of persons now living..." (The Gospel of the Kingdom, p. 8).
A. T. Robertson (1863-1934): "In Rev. 3:10...we seem to have the picture of general temptation with the preservation of the saints" (A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, p. 596).
R. C. H. Lenski (1864-1936): "...it [Philadelphia] shall be kept untouched and unharmed by the impending dangers [Revelation 3:10]" (The Interpretation of St. John's Revelation, pp. 146-146).
William E. Biederwolf (1867-1939): "Godet, like most pre-millennial expositors, makes no provision for any period between the Lord's coming for His saints and His coming with them..." (The Second Coming Bible, p. 385).
Alexander Reese (1881-1969): "...we quite deliberately reject the dispensational theories, propounded first about 1830..." (The Approaching Advent of Christ, p. 293).
Norman S. MacPherson (1899-1980): "...the view that the Church will not pass into or through the Great Tribulation is based largely upon arbitrary interpretations of obscure passages" (Triumph Through Tribulation, p. 5).
See also: Chapter 7 - The History of Pre- and Post-Tribulationism, where I list many of the early church fathers who were post-trib, such as: Barnabas, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian and Hermas.