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Dispensationalism is a Protestant evangelical tradition and theology based on a biblical hermeneutic that sees a series of chronologically successive "dispensations" or periods in history in which God relates to human beings in different ways under different Biblical covenants. As a system dispensationalism is rooted in the writings of John Nelson Darby and the Brethren Movement. The theology of dispensationalism consists of a distinctive eschatological "end times" perspective, as all dispensationalists hold to premillennialism and most hold to a pretribulation rapture. Dispensationalists believe that the nation of Israel is distinct from the Church, and that God will fulfill His promises to national Israel.

The above definition of dispensationalism comes from the free Wikipedia Encyclopedia at the following link:

The purpose of this lesson is not indended to offer support of the concept/theory of dispensationalism, but to encourage each student to understand how this and other theological concepts effect every thing we read or hear about God and the Bible outside of the Scriptures themselves. This includes"footnotes" in study Bibles, commentaries, Christian books, and sermons or lectures we hear. It is important that preachers, Bible teachers, or Biblical counselors understand what "the Scriptures say" and "what man says about the Scriptures" and the difference between the two!

Dispensationalism is realative new. As indiacted above the development of this theory/concept only started a little over 100 years ago.

The free Wikipedia Encyclopedia has the following additional comments on link:

"Dispensationalist theology refers to the teachings of Dispensationalism to address what others see as divergent theologies in the Old Testament and New Testament. Its name reflects a view that biblical history is best understood as a series of dispensations, or separated time-periods, in the Bible.Each dispensation is said to represent a different way in which God deals with man. Some writers also believe that it also involves a different testing of Man. "These periods are marked off in Scripture by some change in God's method of dealing with mankind, in respect to two questions: of sin, and of man's responsibility," explained C. I. Scofield. "Each of the dispensations may be regarded as a new test of the natural man, and each ends in judgment—marking his utter failure in every dispensation."

Questions you might ask yourself are "Is God all-knowing?" and "Is God unchanging and impartial?" The answer (your opinion) of these two basic questions will influence your thoughts on dispensationalism.

The theological system known as "dispensationalism" has literally controled much of the evangelical Bible interpretation going on for the last 100 years or so. This is due to its far-reaching popularity. For modern believers, it has become a "grid" through which the Scriptures are read -- even by many who have never heard the word "dispensationalism." Note that I have said "theological system" -- this is important. Many think of "dispensationalism" as an eschatological (prophecy) view only -- not so.

The above paragraph comes from an article called "PROBLEMS WITH DISPENSATIONALISM" at link:

This is one of many links that can be found by a simple "google" search on the word "dispensationalism". Please spend some time reading about this important concept and you will quickly discover why a Bible scholor/teacher must understand this theological concept regardless of their own belief system.