Dispensationalism Before Darby by William C. Watson (Tim Chaffey, Alf Cengia and Dr. David Reagan)

Jan 17, 2020 | But That's Just Me, Dispensationalism, End Times, Israel, Jerusalem, Must Read, Pre Tribulation Rapture, Rapture, Replacement Theology


***** 2 bonus videos added at bottom (2/11/2020) *****

The “Darby invented Dispensationalism” myth is extremely common, but this refrain is demonstrably false. There have also been many vicious attacks on Darby’s character, but these baseless attacks disparage and slander a faithful Christian brother. Yet both of these ideas commit the genetic fallacy in that they attempt to discount Dispensationalism by going after its perceived source. Even if Darby were the originator of this view, it would not invalidate Dispensationalism. The system must be examined in light of Scripture.

Read the full review at Tim Chaffey’s site: Book Review: Dispensationalism Before Darby by William C. Watson




Critics of dispensationalism and pretribulationism inevitably point to John Darby. Cyrus Scofield and a number of popular pretribulational proponents are included in the list. There are obligatory mentions of Hal Lindsay and Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind books. Darby’s character and personal integrity are often maligned. The take-home message is that pretribulationism and dispensationalism are new and either invented by Darby, the Jesuits or Ribera. Take your pick!

What emerges from Watson’s fascinating research is a thorough refutation that dispensational and pre-conflagration rapture concepts were non existent prior to John Darby. These ideas are found among many Puritan writings across more than one continent.

Read Alf Cengia’s full review at: Dispensationalism Before Darby




For years, critics of premillennialism have argued that John Nelson Darby was the source of the doctrine of the rapture and the theological system of thought known as dispensationalism. The evidence says something entirely different though. Darby was in fact following a long line of British clergy who anticipated the restoration of Jews to a national homeland and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

Mike Spaulding‘s conversation with Dr. William Watson about his book, “Dispensationalism Before Darby,” in this episode of SER. (Just click link and then click the arrow to play the Soaring Eagle Radio podcast)




The Research of Dr. William C. Watson; Book Review By Dr. David R. Reagan

The Results of the Research

His research clearly shows that by the end of the 17th Century, the concept of a Rapture that is separate and apart from the Second Coming had become a commonplace concept. He names seven authors who held a “pre–conflagration” view of a rapture that would take the saints out of the world before it was consumed by fire. He identifies six other authors who were “clearly Pre–Trib.” And he names four who were not Pre–Trib but who refer in their writings to the existence of others who were. He notes that the use of the word, Rapture, was also widespread, with some even referring to those who would be “left behind” (pages 177–178).

William Watson Bio:

William C. Watson is Professor of History at Colorado Christian University and specializes in seventeenth-century and eighteenth-century English history. He received a B.A. in History from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and M.Div. from Talbot School of Theology, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in British history from the University of California, Riverside. He was a 2004 Fulbright Scholar in Moldova and is a frequent conference speaker on British theology and history.





Ancient Dispensational Truth Refuting the Myth That Dispensationalism is New by: James C. Morris

The threadbare argument that dispensational teaching is “new” has been the propaganda of anti-dispensationalists for decades, and many actually believe it. In this fascinating journey through the early Christian writings, James C. Morris demonstrates that dispensational teaching is as old as the church itself.

Many attempt to discredit dispensationalism by claiming that the church never taught it before around 1830. Such a claim is ridiculous, for proof that any particular idea was never taught in any particular time period would require an exhaustive examination of every teaching that took place during that period. Even for a relatively short period of time, such an exhaustive search is manifestly impossible, much less for nearly eighteen centuries.

But this claim involves a serious falsehood. This is that the accuracy or error of a doctrine can be determined on the basis of how long men have taught it. We have no right to base our ideas on anything other than the word of God itself. Anything less that this is a false foundation.

The purpose of the present study is to examine numerous instances of dispensational doctrine that were clearly taught in some of the very oldest Christian writings on Bible prophecy that have survived to the present day, as well as in numerous other truly ancient Christian writings.


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***** 2 bonus videos *****



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