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For years, critics of premillennialism have argued
that John Nelson Darby was the source for the
doctrine of the rapture and dispensationalism.
Building upon years of research in seventeenthcentury
and eighteenth-century English theological
writings, William Watson argues that
dispensationalism and the ideas associated with it
were long part of British theological discourse.
Drawing upon hundreds of early printed English
books and years of archival study in primary sources
and British libraries, Watson demonstrates that
Darby's thought was neither aberrant nor original. To
the contrary, he was following a long line of British
clergy who anticipated the restoration of Jews to a
national homeland and the imminent return of Jesus