Symposium explores Bible prophecy
Liberty’s spring semester Biblical Studies Symposium, titled “Issues in Eschatology,” featured discussions on some of the most widely debated topics related to Bible prophecy. The seminar took place April 13-14 and welcomed leading scholars to share their research with students and other guests.
The event, hosted by the Department of Biblical and Theological Studies, sought to give students a greater awareness of essential theological subjects and the type of research scholars perform.
“(We hope) the students gain better biblical knowledge and better insight into the importance of biblical research,” Dr. Mark Allen, chairman of the department said. “We hope they see the relevance of the Scriptures and biblical scholarship. We want to expose our students to various scholars and issues in biblical interpretation.”
Dr. Mark Hitchcock, pastor and author of more than 25 books related to Bible prophecy, focused on the year the book of Revelation was written, arguing it was written after 70 A.D. and probably in 95 A.D. Hitchcock claimed that if scholars could prove Revelation was written after 70 A.D., then the events depicted in the book must be prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled.
He also stressed Monday night the importance of knowing why one believes what he or she believes in relation to prophecy and its relevance in today’s society.
“When you look at the world today, there’s all this fear and uncertainty that people have about the world in which we live,” Hitchcock said. “Bible prophecy assures us that God is in control. God has a plan. It gives us hope.”
Hitchcock said he hopes students learned techniques on how to study the Bible that can be applied to other interpretative questions.
The symposium continued the following afternoon with Dr. William Watson of Colorado Christian University providing a history of eschatology throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. As a historical researcher, he concluded that certain doctrines related to the end times are not as new as many believe.
Watson said he was eager to study prophecy shortly after he became a Christian and that the thought of Christ’s return should excite believers.
“It gives you a sense of the imminency of the coming of Christ — that he couldcome anytime,” Watson said. “The Christians I know who are on the alert and are expecting the coming of Christ are … fervent in their faith and in their sharing of the gospel.”
The Department of Biblical and Theological Studies holds the Biblical Studies Symposium each semester. More information can be found on its website at liberty.edu/biblicalstudies.
CLARKE is a guest writer.