Maranatha is Dispensational -- By: Bruce K. Meyer

Journal: Maranatha Baptist Theological Journal
Volume: MBTJ 01:1 (Spring 2011)
Article: Maranatha is Dispensational
Author: Bruce K. Meyer


Maranatha is Dispensational

Bruce K. Meyer1

Throughout history, humanity has pursued knowledge about God, His world, and His plans for the world. Graciously, God has provided a revelation of His story, a revelation of His work and plans for His creation. Like any book, however, people can read the Bible in such a way to distort the message and the God of the Bible. Sadly, there have been many who have fashioned distorted teachings using the Bible to justify their bizarre beliefs and practices. Accurate interpretation of the Scriptures is the key to understanding Who God is and what He is doing. Therefore, who should set the rules for interpreting God’s Word? Certainly God has not left His creation to a hopeless state of uncertainty, never able to understand His self-revelation. It should be obvious to anyone seeking to understand a document that the author is the determiner of the intended meaning, since that person knows what he himself was thinking when he wrote the document. Stein writes,

[W]hat the author willed to convey by the linguistic symbols used (whether the symbols were Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, or Latin is immaterial) possesses a meaning that can never change. What a biblical author willed by his text is anchored in history. . . . What a text meant when it was written, it will always mean. It can no more change than any other event of the past can change, because its meaning is forever anchored in past history.2

The responsibility, therefore, of the biblical interpreter is to understand the sacred text as the author intended it to be understood. This is the nature of the debate between dispensationalists and non-dispensationalists—which system of interpretation best allows the text to speak with authorial intent, especially in prophecy?

Maranatha Baptist Bible College and Seminary is committed to dispensational hermeneutics because dispensationalism provides a hermeneutic that allows the text to speak for itself. Therefore, because of the essential characteristics that dispensationalism espouses, this hermeneutical system provides a superior interpretive template over covenantalism. The author will demonstrate this superiority by examining the importance of a dispensational interpretation, the definition and biblical use of the term “dispensation,” the essential characteristics of dispensationalism, and the relationship of the testaments in dispensationalism.

Importance of the Discussion

Often the author encounters individuals who believe dispensationalis...

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