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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator




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1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

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1776: Edwards: History of Redemption

1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

1801: Porteus: Our Lord's Prophecies

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1805: Jortin: Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

1810: Clarke: Commentary On the Whole Bible

1816: Wilkins: Destruction of Jerusalem Related to Prophecies

1824: Galt: The Bachelor's Wife

1840: Smith: The Destruction of Jerusalem

1841: Currier: The Second Coming of Christ

1842: Bastow : A (Preterist) Bible Dictionary

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1861: Maurice: Lectures on the Apocalypse

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1865: Desprez: Daniel (Renounced Full Preterism)

1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

1871: Dale: Jewish Temple and Christian Church (PDF)

1879: Warren: The Parousia

1882: Farrar: The Early Days of Christianity

1883: Milton S. Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics

1888: Henty: For The Temple

1891: Farrar: Scenes in the days of Nero

1896: Lee : A Scholar of a Past Generation

1902: Church: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem

1917: Morris: Christ's Second Coming Fulfilled

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 Kommentar über sämmtliche Schriften des Neuen Testaments

Commentary on the Complete Text of the New Testament
completed and revised by Ebrard and Wiesinger

Dr. Hermann Olshausen
(August 21, 1796 – September 4, 1839)

"Jesus did intend to represent his coming as contemporaneous with the destruction of Jerusalem and the overthrow of the Jewish polity"

(Various Editions)

Olshausen on Matthew 24

VOL. 1 | VOL. 2 | VOL. 3 | VOL. 4 | VOL. 5 // VOL. 6 - Romans | VOL. 7 - Corinthians | VOL. 8 - Gal. to Thess. | VOL. 9 - Timothy to Hebrews | VOL. 11 - Epistles of John

"As regards the contents of the discourse, a great difficulty lies in its placing in apparent juxtaposition circumstances which, according to the history, are separated by wide intervals. Obvious descriptions of the approaching overthrow of Jerusalem and the Jewish polity are blended with no less evident representations of the second coming of the Lord to his kingdom. . . We do not hesitate to adopt the simple interpretation, and the only one consistent with the text, that Jesus did intend to represent his coming as contemporaneous with the destruction of Jerusalem and the overthrow of the Jewish polity." (Vol. ii, pp. 221, 222.)

'It is precisely for this reason, viewing the Saviour's reply to his disciples as designed to be intelligible, that in this portion of the prediction, I can find no direct reference to the day of judgment, only as the whole event of the coming to destroy Jerusalem is symbolical of that great and final coming to take vengeance on the ungodly." (P. 312.)

"The word Parousia (presence) is the ordinary expression
for the second coming of the Lord. — With the classic authors parousia commonly signifies presence; it has the same meaning sometimes in the N". T., in the writings of Paul (2 Cor. 10: 10; Phil. 1 : 26 ; 2 : 12 ; 2 Thess. 2:9); in other cases it is used in the sense of advent, and once (2 Pet. 1 : 16) the incarnation of the Redeemer as applied to his first coming." (Vol. ii. p. 228.)

"Genea (generation) is not used in the sense of nation in any one passage, either in the New Testament or of profane writers."

"Certainly the proceeding of the older interpreters who thought Paul spoke in the plural only conversationally, without really meaning to say that they themselves, he and his readers, might be still living at the occurrence of that catastrophe, is decidedly to be rejected."

"At all events, the note is not to be mistaken, ' Let him that readaeth understand,'—a clear token on behalf of the true origin, the ancient historical efficiency, of the first Gospels ; especially a testimony that they must have appeared before the destruction of Jerusalem."

"Lastly, The circumstances in regard to the Gospel of John are particularly calculated to place its genuineness beyond dispute; for John the Evangelist lived much longer than any of the other apostles. So far as we know, none of the others were alive after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, the Roman emperor, in the year 70 A.d. John, however, survived it nearly thirty years, dying about the close of the first century, under the reign of the emperor Domitian. Hence, many Christians who had heard of our Lord's farewell words to him (John xxi. 22, 23), believed that John would not die, an idea which the Evangelist himself declares erroneous. This beloved disciple of our Lord, during the latter part of his life, as we know from testimonies on which perfect reliance may be placed, lived at Ephesus, in Asia Minor, where the Apostle Paul had founded a flourishing church. The importance of this church, about the year 64 or 75 A.d., is evinced by Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians; and subsequently it was very much enlarged. It was in this subsequent period that John wrote his Gospel. This is clear, first, from a comparison of the Gospel with the Revelation. This last work was written by John at an earlier period, before the destruction of Jerusalem. John's style in this prophetic composition is not so thoroughly easy as we find it at a later period in the Gospel, which he must have written after longer intercourse with native Greeks. Again, John plainly had the three other Gospels before him when he wrote; for he omits all which they had described with sufficient minuteness, e. g., the institution of the holy supper, and only relates that which was new respecting the life of his Lord and Master. Hence, these must have been already composed, and also so gener• ally diffused, that John could presume them universally known in the church." (Vol. 1, p. lv)


David Lord (1858)
"THE expositions of this prophecy with which we have met in recent commentators, add little of importance to its elucidation ; they contribute rather, in some respects, to obscure and perplex it. Thus Olshausen, though presenting in the main a very just and impressive view of the import of its two great predictions — of judgment on the Jews, and of Christ's second coming — falls into the singular error of regarding it as representing that the overthrow of Jerusalem and the second advent of Christ would be contemporaneous.

"As regards the contents of the discourse, a great difficulty lies in its placing in apparent juxtaposition circumstances which, according to the history, are separated by wide intervals. Obvious descriptions of the approaching overthrow of Jerusalem and the Jewish polity are blended with no less evident representations of the second coming of the Lord to his kingdom. . . We do not hesitate to adopt the simple interpretation, and the only one consistent with the text, that Jesus did intend to represent his coming as contemporaneous with the destruction of Jerusalem and the overthrow of the Jewish polity." — Com.,vol. ii, pp. 221, 222.

This statement surprises us ; as there not only is nothing in the prophecy to justify it, but it is an impeachment of the accuracy of the prediction. As Christ's coming was not in fact to take place at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, nor till many centuries after, how can a representation that they were to be contemporaneous consist with truth ? Why would not such a contradiction to the Divine purpose form as decisive a proof of the error of the prophecy, as an equal contradiction to the Divine designs and to fact in respect to any other events? And what motive can be supposed to have prompted such a false exhibition of the relations of the two events in time, which, on its being demonstrated by the fall of Jerusalem without the personal advent of the Son of man, would have convicted the prophecy of error in the judgment of all careful readers, divested it of authority, and debarred it from the faith of the church? The supposition is thus in every respect untenable. " Christ's Prophecy (Matt. xxiv) of the Destruction of Jerusalem, and of His Second Coming

Heinrich Meyer
"Certain expositors have referred, in this connection, to the sentiment of the modern poet, who says : " the  history is represented the destruction of Jerusalem as the first act in this judgment, which is supposed to be immediately followed (ver. 29) by a renovation of the world through the medium of Christianity,—a renovation which is to go on until the last revelation from heaven takes place (Kern, Dorner, Olshansen). But this is only to commit the absurdity of importing into the passage a poetical judgment, such as is quite foreign to the real judgment of the New Testament. No less objectionable is Bengel's idea, revived by Hengstenberg and Olshausen, about the perspective nature of the prophetic vision,—an idea which could only have been vindicated from the reproach of imputing a false vision, i.e., an optical delusion, to Jesus if the latter had failed to specify a definite time by means of a statement so very precise as that contained in ver. 29, or had not added the solemn declaration of ver. 34. Dorner, Wittichen, rightly decide against this view. As a last shift, Olshausen has recourse to the idea that some condition or other is to be understood : " All those things will happen, unless men avert the anger of God by sincere repentance,"—a reservation which, in a prediction of so extremely definite a character, would most certainly have been expressly mentioned, even although no doubt can be said to exist as to the conditional nature of the Old Testament prophecies (Berthcan in the Jahrb. f. D. Theol. 1859, p. 335 ff.). IE, as Olshansen thinks, it was the wish of the Lord that His second advent should always be looked upon as a possible, nay, as a probable thing,— and if it was/or this reason that He spoke as Matthew represents Him to have done, then it would follow that He made use of false means for the purpose of attaining a moral end,—a thing even more inconceivable in His case than theoretical error, which latter Strauss does not hesitate to impute." (p. 431-434)

Benjamin Pearce
"The Greek word aión, seems to signify age here, as it often does in the New Testament, and according to its most proper signification." Clarke, Wakefield, Boothroyd, Simpson, Lindsey, Mardon, Acton, agree. So do Locke, Hammond, Le Clerc, Beausobre, Lenfant, Dodridge, Paulus, Kenrick and Olshausen." (in Matt. vii: 33)

E. De Pressence (1870)
"It would be useless to attempt to catalogue the works which have accumulated during the last fifty years in Germany—that fatherland of modern theology. We will only cite the most characteristic. Let us point first to the vast treasures of exegesis—De Wette's exegetical manuals, so full and so exact; the graphic commentaries of Olshausen and Tholuck; the great works of Lücke on the "Writings of St. John," and of Bleek on the "Epistle to the Hebrews," and many other monuments of learning, so solid and so reliable that they furnish inexhaustible resources to the student of the primitive age of the Church." The Early Years of Christianity

Dr. Edward Robinson
"Another form of the same general view is that presented by Olshausen. He too refers the verses of Matthew under consideration directly to the final coming of Christ; but seeks to avoid the difficulty above stated, by an explanation derived from the alleged nature of prophecy. He adopts the theory broached by Hengstenberg, that inasmuch as the vision of future things was presented solely to the mental or spiritual eye of the prophet, he thus saw them all at one glance as present realilirs, with equal vividness and without any distinction of order or time,—like the figures of a great painting without perspective or other marks of distance or relative position. ' The facts and realities are distinctly perceived ; but not their distance from the period, nor the intervals by which they are separated from each other.' Hence our Lord, in submitting himself to the laws of prophetic vision, was led to speak of his last coming in immediate connexion with his coming for the destruction of Jerusalem : because in vision the two were presented together to his spiritual eye, without note of any interval of time.— Not to dwell here upon the fact, that this whole theory of prophecy is fanciful hypothesis, and appears to have been since abandoned by its author ; it is enough to remark, that this explanation admits, after all, the same fundamental error, viz. that our Lord did mistakenly announce his final coming as immediately to follow the overthrow of the Holy City. Indeed, the difficulty is even greater here, if possible, than before ; because, according to the former view, the error may be charged upon the report of the evangelists; while here it can only be referred to our Lord himself." (p. 544)

Philip Schaff
" A fair exegesis of this passage can hardly fail to recognize the fact that the apostle here as well as elsewhere (1 Thess. 4: 17; 1 Cor. 15: 51), speaks of the coming of the Lord as rapidly approaching." Most modern German commentators defend this reference. Olshausen, DeWette, Philippi, Meyer, and others, think no other view in the least tenable ; and Dr. Lange, while careful to guard against extreme theories  on this point, denies the reference to eternal blessedness, and admits that the Parousia is intended. The opinion gains  ground among Anglo-Saxon exegetes."


Hermann Olshausen (August 21, 1796 – September 4, 1839) was a German theologian.

Olshausen was born at Oldeslohe in Holstein. He was educated at the universities of Kiel (1814) and Berlin (1816), where he was influenced by Schleiermacher and Neander. In 1817 he was awarded the prize at the festival of the Reformation for an essay, Melanchthons Charakteristik aus seinen Briefen dargestellt (1818). This essay brought him to the notice of the Prussian Minister of Public Worship, and in 1820 he became Privatdozent at Berlin. In 1821, he became professor extraordinarius at the University of Königsberg, and in 1827 professor. In 1834, he became professor at the University of Erlangen.

Olshausen's department was New Testament exegesis; his Kommentar über sämmtliche Schriften des Neuen Testaments (Commentary on the complete text of the New Testament; completed and revised by Ebrard and Wiesinger) began to appear at Königsberg in 1830, and was translated into English in 4 volumes (Edinburgh, 1847-1849). He had prepared for it by his other works, Die Echtheit der vier kanonischen Evangelien, aus der Geschichte der zwei ersten Jahrhunderte erwiesen (The veracity of the four canonical Gospels demonstrated from the history of the first two centuries, 1823), Ein Wort über tieferen Schriftsinn (1824) and Die biblische Schriftauslegung (1825). In the latter two works, he presents his method of exegesis, and rejects the doctrine of verbal inspiration.
[edit] Family

He was a brother of politician Theodor Olshausen and orientalist Justus Olshausen.
[edit] References

* This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Press.
* Wikisource-logo.svg "Olshausen, Hermann". New International Encyclopedia. 1905.


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