BULLINGER AND ME
What impression have I got of Ethelbert William Bullinger, the ‘Father’ of the modern ‘Acts-28’ Bible interpretation framework?
This question can only be asked as pure rhetorical in nature. Because I could only have genuine impressions of Dr. Bullinger if we both were alive and knew each other well in life. He died in 1913 at the age of seventy five.
Our knowledge can only be had from what is written of him, and by him. Some has written bad things of him, but many has appreciated his extensive Bible based works. Bullinger has not gone unnoticed in history!
Even if many a writer has done much work on Bullinger and his immense influence on how we should read the Holy Bible, these many writers are – as we speak – still writing. At least we can see this checking out Wikipedia TALK dept. I personally do not engage into working with the Wikipedia. But it is a very useful tool to gain knowledge in certain issues.
I went to the website for Bullinger’s books (ewbullingerbooks.com) and zizzored this short info paragraph, which is a good starter for those who want to learn a bit regarding Bullinger, (editor has added photo of Kings College) -
“Ethelbert William Bullinger was born December 15th in Canterbury, Kent, England. He was the youngest of five children of William and Mary (Bent) Bullinger. His family traced their ancestry back to Heinrich Bullinger, the Swiss Reformer, a covenant theologian. His father succeeded Zwingli in Zurich in December of 1531.
Being educated at King’s College, London, he was a recognized scholar in the field of biblical languages. The Archbishop of Canterbury granted him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1881 in recognition of his biblical scholarship. After graduation, on October 15, 1861, he married Emma Dobson, thirteen years his senior. Bullinger’s friends included well-known Zionist Dr. Theodor Herzl. This was a personal friendship, but accorded with Bullinger’s belief in a Biblical distinction between the Church and the Jewish People.
Dr. E W Bullinger believed in and taught the pretribulation, premillennial rapture. He is considered an untradispensationalist. This was because he taught that the gospels and Acts were under the dispensation of law. He further taught the church actually began at Paul’s ministry after Acts 28:28.
His three major works were:
Figures of Speech Used in the Bible (1898)
Primary editor of The Companion Bible.
As an interesting side note: Bullinger was also a practiced musician. As part of his support for the Breton Mission, he collected and harmonized several previously untranscribed Breton hymns on his visits to Trémel, Brittany.”
BULLINGERS IMMENSE INFLUENCE
It is to me evident that Bullinger’s influence can be compared to that of Elvis Presley! I heard it said of Elvis, that he sold more records AFTER he died than when he still was alive. (I guess you understand this very dry joke?)
Bullinger has become more and more influential as a Bible teacher after his death. For believers in Christ have taken his writings serious and expanded upon these. I am one of them. His ‘Companion Bible’ is available to all.
It is clear to all that Bullinger was not perfect or in any manner to be compared to any of the apostles of the Bible story. He was an Anglican clergyman, well respected, and much and well educated in languages in particular. Mainly Biblical Greek. Which caused the Archbishop of Canterbury to honor him with the ‘Doctor of Divinity’ degree in 1881.
E. W. Bullinger can be looked upon as one who ‘Opened the Gates’ for a fuller understanding of the Holy Bible.
He was the first known minister who held forth in public the Bible truth, of Acts 28 as the boundary for when the Church dispensation started, and the dispensation of Law ended.
WHAT HAVE I GOT TO DO WITH IT?
Bullinger, as told in Wikipedia, as well as here in the excerpt from the web, once taught that the Church would be ‘Raptured’ before the Great Tribulation (see 1 Thes. 4 ff). But I have come to another conclusion on the Rapture-issue: This scenario could only be possible if Jesus’ Second Advent occurred in Acts period. See my article on this, here on my website. Rev. 20:4 dismisses the ‘Rapture’ entirely, for we only find resurrection mentioned of the saints to enter the millennial reign with Christ for a thousand years! PHOTO: Me – portrait taken in 2017.
Likewise, I disagree with Bullinger’s classification on the epistles of Paul.
He classified Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Titus, 1 Tim, and 2 Tim as written post-Acts, thus putting them as Church epistles for our time.
I (and several other Bible teachers) classifies ONLY Ephesians and Colossians as Church epistles, plus the non-doctrinal one to Philemon. The four others were written during Acts, and are thus Acts-epistles. Only Ephesians and Colossians mention, A: The Mystery revealed. B: The abolishment of the Law of Moses. See my articles on this in my website. I have dealt with Philippians, Titus, and 1 & 2 Timothy in separate articles.
Had Bullinger been alive today, I would not have been surprised if he would have altered his views on his classification. One can only speculate.
None of us are perfect in any way. We can fail in many things. But yet, there seem to me that God has made it so that at least we get hold of the Biblical things WHICH COMES MOST IMPORTANT to a Christian believer.
It pays off to study the Bible, and to take in whatever changes one have to make accordingly.
I come from a spiritual background in the Pentecostal movement. I happened also, unfortunately, to sidestep into ‘Word of Faith’ spheres, but finally I got awakened when I discovered the importance of the ministry of the apostle Paul. First I came into Mid-Acts beliefs, but shortly after I discovered the Acts-28 interpretation frame, which to my mind is the correct frame for interpreting the Bible. My website was started in 2004 as a result of this discovery of Bible truths.
E. W. Bullinger, a former vicar in the Church of England under the Archbishop of Canterbury, in his time, opened the gates for greater and better understanding of the Bible. In particular, the right division of The New Testament scriptures.
Thank God for having given Bullinger such advice and insight in the Bible.