Although Christianity began as a Jewish sect, by the second century is was overwhelmingly composed of Gentiles, with little emotional attachment to Judaism. By the mid-second century Marcion was denying the Torah and Justin Martyr, who claimed “we are the true Israel” and “You are sadly mistaken if you think that, just because you are descendants of Abraham according to the flesh, you will share in the legacy...” Increasingly early Christianity began to cast away from its Jewish roots...
My primary motivation for beginning the research culminating in this book came from a colleague at Colorado Christian University, Dr. Johann Kim, professor of New Testament studies. We debated the issue of Christian Zionism and Dispensationalism before a large audience in the spring of 2007, where he declared that these ideas began only 150 years ago in the mind of John Nelson Darby. Having spent decades digging through archives and data bases of pre-Victorian English published material, I had regularly encountered Apocalyptic material which seemed similar to Darby, and decided after that debate to dedicate my time to studying them. Since then, upon informing colleagues of my work, I got a response similar to what James Robertson got in early eighteenth century while writing on the book of Revelation: ...
“Ideas have consequences”, and one’s eschatology affects what one thinks of the Jews and the modern state of Israel. The abandonment of Premillennialism for Amillenialism (denying a literal millennium) and Preterism (believing eschatological events were fulfilled by the end of the Roman Empire) denies Jews the hopes given to them in the Bible, and contributes to attitudes of Antisemitism...
Having published a book on eschatology in seventeenth and eighteenth century England, I began a study of these ideas even earlier in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. This led me to archives in the UK during the summer of 2016 (British Library, National Archives, Lambeth Palace Library, Oxford University), and several county record offices in the south of England. While searching manuscript collections at the British Library I discovered a seventeenth century copy of a fifteenth century gothic manuscript titled “Treatyse of the Cumminge of Antecryst”...