Arno Clemens Gaebelein was known as the “compassionate dispensational pre-millennialist.” He was born in Germany on August 27, 1861. He emigrated to the United States at the ripe age of 18 and almost immediately began serving in the ministry in places like Bridgeport, Baltimore, Harlem, and Hoboken, New Jersey.
He was fluent in Hebrew and devoted much of his time in Harlem serving in the Jewish Christian Mission and explaining to Jews from Scripture how Jesus Christ was their Messiah. (His intensive research for his Jewish ministry makes his Old Testament commentaries an absolute treasure.) Over the years, he grew into dispensational thinking and became a popular speaker and fixture at the famous Niagara Bible Conferences, as well as the Sea Cliff Bible Conferences, where he became close friends with C.I. Scofield. In his biography, Early Twentieth Century Dispensationalism of Arno C. Gaebelein, Michael D. Stallard said that, “For the first two decades of the twentieth century, Scofield and Gaebelein were perhaps the two most prominent names in the world of dispensational premillennialism on the American scene.”
From a young age, much of Gaebelain’s service for the Lord involved writing, which was his passion, and he became a prolific writer. He published hundreds of tracts and booklets. He published a magazine dedicated to Jewish evangelism called Our Hope, which became popular not only in the United States but also in Europe. He was an associate editor of the Scofield Reference Bible and taught for 7 years at the Evangelical Theological College, which is now known as Dallas Theological Seminary. There were also his many commentaries covering every book of the Bible, which we proudly share with you here. Stallard is convinced that Gaebelein “is one of the most prolific premillennial writers of all time.”
Toward the end of his life, Arno Gaebelein, the German Christian who had spent his life having a ministry with the Jews, found himself horrified and heartbroken by the events of World War II. First, in 1937, he sailed to Germany with the hope of being used to spark a revival but only came back with “dismal reports” of the horrid condition of a nation drowning in Nazism. During the war, he poured his heart out in his Our Hope magazine over his sorrows about the horrors being committed to the Jews. In one issue, he wrote:
“It is now a fact that more than two million Jews have been slaughtered in this four-year-old-war. We say it again – all these sufferings and these terrible devastations it is our lot to hear about, move the Christian believer to deep sympathy, and millions of prayers are now made that our all-wise God, Whose oft mysterious ways are beyond our ken, may soon end it.”
He died on Christmas day, 1945, living long enough to see the conclusion to World War II, the demise of Hitler, and the end of all the horrors being committed against the Jews to his great relief. A couple of years before he died, he gave a handwritten letter to the associate editor of his magazine to be published just in case he died before the Lord’s return. In it, he wrote,
“Only He knows the exact time when the crowning event in the history of the Church, the gathering of the saints of God to meet Him in the air will take place. Perhaps in His infinite mercy He may still tarry to add more members to His Body, His own fullness, which filleth all in all.”
We hope you enjoy his library of books.
- Joel Hayes, FBC Librarian
Arno C. Gaebelein