There - Three Or Seven?
Both According To One
The following text is extracted from:
by Book: A Manual for the Outline Study of the Bible by
Josiah Blake Tidwell, Published 1916 by Baylor University Press.
"A dispensation is a period of time during which God deals in a
particular way with man in the matter of sin and responsibility. The
whole Bible may be divided into either three or seven
1.The Patriarchal Dispensation. From creation to the giving of the
Gen. 1-Ex. 19 and Job.
2. The Mosaic Dispensation. From the giving of the Law to the
Christ, Ex. 20-Mal. 4.
3. The Christian Dispensation. From the birth of Christ to his
1. The Dispensation of Innocence. From creation to the expulsion
the garden, Gen. 1-3. In this period. Adam and Eve were under
obligations to keep their innocence by abstaining from the fruit
tree of knowledge of good and evil. Their failure has been the
destructive and for reaching of all man's failures.
2. The Dispensation of Conscience. From the fall to the flood,
4-9. Man had a natural conscience, or knew good from evil, and was
under obligation to do good and not evil. The time covered B. C.
4004-2348=1636 years for 1 and 2.
3. The Dispensation of Human Governments. From the flood to the
Abraham, Gen. 10-12. God gave the eight persons saved from the
power to govern the renewed earth. The time covered, B. C.
4. The Dispensation of Promise. From Abraham to the giving of the
Gen. 12-Ex.19. God promised Abraham land, natural seed, spiritual
and other conditional promises. For the sake of study, this
dispensation is divided into two sections. (1) Abraham and the
people, Gen. 12:50. (2) Moses and the Exodus, Ex. 1-19. The time
covered, B. C. 1921-1491=430 years.
5. The Dispensation of the Law. From Sinai to Calvary or from
the cross, Ex. 20-John 21. The history of Israel in the wilderness
their lapses into idolatry and their other sins while in Canaan,
captivity by Babylon and final dispersion are evidences of their
failure in this dispensation. All of the Old Testament was written
during this period. The time covered, B. C. 1491-A. D. 34=1525
6. The Dispensation of Grace. From Calvary to the second coming of
Christ, Act 8-Rev. Grace is God giving instead of requiring
righteousness. It is unmerited favor. During this dispensation,
and eternal salvation is fully offered to both Jews and Gentiles
the condition of faith. It will end with the destruction of the
The time covered is not known.
7. The Dispensation of the Kingdom. The Millennium (1000)."
* Dr. J.B. Tidwell was
of Biblical Literature, Baylor
University, Waco, Texas
For more on the subject of dispensations see my article
number of dispensations.