An Amillennial Response to a Premillennial View of Isaiah 65:20 -- By: G. K. Beale

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 61:3 (Sep 2018)
Article: An Amillennial Response to a Premillennial View of Isaiah 65:20
Author: G. K. Beale


An Amillennial Response to a Premillennial View of Isaiah 65:20

G. K. Beale*

* G. K. Beale is J. Gresham Machen Research Professor of NT and Biblical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 27009, Philadelphia, PA 19118. He can be contacted at gkbeale@gmail.com.

Abstract: This essay argues that Isa 65:20 is not about a temporary reversible millennium in which there is actual death but about the eternal irreversible reality of there being no untimely death in the everlasting new creation. I adduce seven main lines of argument in favor of this: (1) discussion of a translational problem in 65:20, which could support premillennialism or could fit into an amillennial view; (2) the eternal new creation context of Isa 65:17–19 and 65:21–25 points to the probability that 65:20 is also about the eternal new creation; (3) the use of Genesis 3 in Isaiah 65, which points to an eternal new creation context; (4) the eternal new creation context of Isa 65:17–25 is supported further by its use of Isa 25:7–10, which is about there being no death any longer in the new, eternal age; (5) arguments favoring a figurative view of Isa 65:20; (6) the use of Isaiah in Rev 21:1–22:4 is figurative, thus pointing to Isa 65:20 being a depiction of the irreversible, eternal new creation; (7) the irreversible nature of eschatology itself favors the conclusion that Isa 65:20 is not about a temporary, eschatological millennial state but about the eternal new heavens and earth.

Key Words: eschatology, inaugurated eschatology, premillennialism, amillennialism, new creation

Isaiah 65:20 says: “No longer will there be from there an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed.”1 This essay had its stimulus in a Westminster Theological Seminary panel discussion on eschatology at the Gospel Coalition conference in Orlando, FL in the spr...

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