A Bibliography of Dispensationalism: Part 3 -- By: Arnold D. Ehlert

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 101:403 (Jul 1944)
Article: A Bibliography of Dispensationalism: Part 3
Author: Arnold D. Ehlert

A Bibliography of Dispensationalism:
Part 3

Arnold D. Ehlert

(Continued from the April-June Number, 1944)

[Author’s note: Two previous installments dealt with introductory considerations, chiefly a survey of the six- and seven-thousand year trdition as a background for the time-period aspect of dispensationalism. This installment carries the subject through the Middle Ages.]


“An unperverted mind,” said Austin Phelps, “will approach reverently any revelation of God in the destiny of man.”1 The word dispensation is a Scriptural term.2 Biblically speaking, its meaning, but not its etymology, stems from the Old Testament idea of stewardship, or house management.3 Etymologically it is the anglicized form of the Latin dispensatio which is the rendering in the Vulgate Version for the Greek οἰκονομία. English has also taken over this Greek term as oeconomy or economy, which is more or less synonymous with dispensation.

For a solid background in the use of the Greek term one should consult the standard lexicons, especially Liddell and Scott (the new 2-volume revised edition), Moulton and Milligan, Cremer, Thayer and W. E. Vine’s Comprehensive Dictionary of the Original Greek Words with their Precise Meanings for English Readers. This latter specifically denies the time-period aspect of the word in Biblical usage.

The word dispensatio should be consulted in Corradini’s Lexicon Totius Latinitatis of Facciolati, Forcellini and

Furlanetti, and Du Cange’s Glossarium Mediae et Infimae Latinitatis.

In approaching the whole subject of dispensations from a historical standpoint one is shut up immediately to the definition found in the New English Dictionary on Historical Principles. For the benefit of those who might not have access to this set, the theological definition of the word, which is only one of the eleven divisions of the definition listed, is quoted here: “A religious order or system, conceived as divinely instituted, or as a stage in a progressive revelation, expressly adapted to the needs of a particular nation or period of time, as the patriarchal, Mosaic (or Jewish) dispensation, the Christian dispensation; also, the age or period during which such system has prevailed.”4

The word economy should als...

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