|A comparison of the
two verses is essential. The Greek in
the two phrases is identical. On the
basis of these two texts, and the omission in chapter 4, it is claimed that
chapters 2 and 3 are the history of the church.
|This is said to be
“obvious.” (Reminding me of the phrase
in physics textbooks, “it is intuitively obvious to the casual
observer...” -- unfortunately, I was
never able to be a casual observer).
It does not seem so to me.
|It is also clear,
however, that the interpretation is not beyond possibility. This is a tight, artistic work. Conclusions which would be out of reach in
the Gospels -- especially conclusions from the form of the work, indicating
an absence of text -- might be permissible here. An intellectual honesty dictates that we
hold this one open.
|The argument is that
chapter 1 shows past, present and future -- and thus when chapter 4 shows
only future, it must be that chapters 2 and 3 are “present” -- which in
dispensationalism means the church age.
It logically follows that chapter 4 starts the age after the church
age -- post Rapture.
|They might be
right. They might not be.