E. W. Bullinger

Ethelbert William Bullinger (* December 15, 1837 in Canterbury, England, † June 6, 1913 in London) was an Anglican theologian and co-creator of the systematic dispensationalism.


Bullinger was the fifth child of William and Mary ( Bent ) Bullinger. Heinrich Bullinger, a leading theologian of Protestantism in the 16th century, was a direct ancestor.

His education completed Bullinger at King's College in London. His expertise in the field of biblical languages ​​was so outstanding that he has the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1881 awarded an honorary doctorate of theology.

Bullinger began his spiritual duties in 1861 as an assistant pastor in Bermondsey. In 1862 he was ordained as a priest in the Church of England. He then worked as a priest in Tittleshall (1863-1866), Notting Hill (1866-1869), Leytonstone (1869-1870) and Walthamstow ( 1870-1874 ). In 1888 he gave up his pastorate at St. Stephen's on, but retained his position as secretary of the Trinitarian Bible Society and editor of the monthly magazine Things to Come. A Journal of Biblical Literature, which he had held since 1867.



Bullinger has become known that he developed the then dispensationalism consistently. Based on Hebrews 1:1-2, he ordered in his book The Foundations of Dispensational Truth, the books of the Bible according to the way in which God spoke to the recipients of his message, dispensations to:

It was important to recognize that " Paul the precious teachings held that were previously hidden and could not be announced before Christ's suffering, death, resurrection and ascension had actually taken place; because they have all this presupposes. These teachings are found exclusively in the letters from captivity ( Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians ) and here are the letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon. " Bullinger hopes to cure " of an unconscious and biblical kleptomania, taken by all the promises of blessing of Israel and the church were awarded ."

He saw the following consequences:

  • The Great Commission in the Gospels relates only to the Jews, not the church.
  • The service of the twelve apostles was a continuation of the earthly ministry of Christ.
  • The community did not take its beginning at Pentecost (such as the dispensationalists previously thought ), but with Acts 28:28.
  • Water baptism does not apply to this church age, but only the Spirit baptism.
  • There is a difference between the earlier and the later ministry of Paul ( gradual revelations in Paul's letters ). Only the captivity letters and Pastoral Epistles of Paul contain ultimate truths.
  • Israel, not the church, the bride of Christ.

This view was later " Bullingerismus " or " Ultradispensationalismus " called (because it went beyond dispensationalism then known ).


Bullinger believed in the premillenarianism and the Rapture before the Great Tribulation ( Prätribulationismus ) and taught this as well.

He also taught that the soul between death and the resurrection does not exist (ie, the traditional doctrine of the immortal soul is unbiblical ), mainly on the grounds that the soul exists after 1st Gen. 2:7 from body and mind and thus after death can no longer be existent ( Ganztodtheorie ).

Bullinger moved the journal Things to Come, which had mainly biblical eschatology to the topic. Adolph Ernst Knoch published some articles there, followed by a lively exchange of ideas emerged.

1909 Bullinger gave out the Companion Bible, which contains based on the King James translation of the Bible extensive word studies and helps to structure the biblical letters and is still popular in the English-speaking world.

Works (selection)

  • Commentary on Revelation
  • Word Studies on the Holy Spirit
  • The Witness of the Stars
  • The Book of Job
  • Figures of Speech Used in the Bible
  • Great Cloud of Witnesses
  • The Critical Lexicon
  • Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament
  • The Companion Bible, Kregel, 2000, ISBN 978-0-8254-2099-3
  • The Two Natures in the Child of God (Eng. The two natures in the child of God, translated by Paul Müller, Rathmann, Marburg 1957, Stephen, Uhldingen 1981)
  • The Foundations of Dispensational Truth ( dt salvation -historical development in the New Testament, Mössinger, Carlsbad nd)
  • How to Enjoy the Bible