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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
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Was ANY Prophecy Fulfilled in AD70?

By Bob Ross

Was ANY Prophecy Fulfilled in AD70? | The Jewish Origins of Preterism | Prophetic Perfidy Pertaining to Prophetic Pronouncements |  The Historical Background of Modern Preterism |  "PRETERIST PROPHETIC PHANTASYLAND"

          In the writings of Josephus we read of the Roman conquest of Jerusalem and of the mass destruction which was inflicted upon the city and the Jewish population in A. D. 70.  Titus, the son of the Roman emperor, Vespasian, was the leader of the Roman army.  If you have not read the story of this first century conflict, I suggest that you do.

          Many writers who advocate a variety of prophetic theories, especially "Preterism," have pronounced the events of this war between the Jews and the Romans as being the "fulfillment" of certain scriptural prophecies. [1]

          Some think it fulfilled a large part of  Daniel 11; others say it fulfilled portions of Matthew 24.

          In reading these writers, however, it appears that either the writers have a "blind spot," else they presume they can "pull the wool" over the eyes of at least most of their readers.

          For example, IF the events of A. D. 70 fulfill the eleventh chapter of  Daniel [11:21-45], where is the "parallel" of events, nations, and persons of Daniel 11 to those of A. D. 70 ?

          How is any thing close to being a reasonable comparison of the "king of the north" of Daniel 11 to the Roman general, Titus ?  When did Titus, for instance, ever build his "palace" in Jerusalem [Daniel 11:45]?  This is merely one of the items in Daniel 11 which will not "fit" the A. D. 70 scenario.

          Those who opt for the idea that A. D. 70 fulfills Matthew 24 are faced with the same problem, for if A. D. 70 fulfills Matthew 24:15 (the "abomination of desolation;" see Daniel 11:31), then they must show us how Titus is a fulfillment of the man in Daniel 11 who is responsible for the "abomination of desolation."

          To evade this necessity, some say that Daniel 11 was fulfilled in the past by Antiochus Epiphanes long before the birth of Christ.  The obvious problem with this theory is that Jesus Christ placed the "abomination of desolation" AFTER his own time, therefore it could not have been fulfilled by Antiochus before Christ came.

          This idea that Antiochus fulfilled Daniel 11:31 was first presented in the book of First Maccabees of the Apocrypha, and it was later adopted by Romanist Jerome (340-420 A. D.) in his commentary on Daniel; subsequent writers have simply repeated the idea as being factual.  For numerous historical contradictions and inaccuracies of this theory, see the Commentary by Keil and Delitzsch on Daniel.  They contend that "the prophecy does not furnish a prediction of the historical wars of the Seleucidae and the Ptolemies. . . the historical reality does not correspond with the contents of the prophecy in anything like an exhaustive manner" (Vol 9, page 450).  After the "thrashing" given to this theory by K & D, it is surprising that any one still repeats the Jewish-Jeromian theory.

          For A. D. 70 to be a fulfillment of Matthew 24, it would necessarily mean that it is also the fulfillment of Daniel 11 [see Matthew 24:15], yet there is simply NO Scriptural correlation that can be made between Daniel 11 and the events of A. D. 70.  I have asked more than one of the "A. D. 70 theorists" to demonstrate any Scriptural similarity between Daniel 11:21-45 [which presents the career of the "king of the north"] and what took place in A. D. 70 under Titus, and none of them has made the effort to do so.  This includes Michael Horton, and even John L. Bray who has been making a ministry out of the A. D. 70 "hobby-horse."

          One effort which has been made to "escape" the problem is what is called the "double-fulfillment" of Daniel 11 -- first by Antiochus, then later in A. D. 70.  But this explains nothing, for Christ referred to a FUTURE "abomination of desolation, SPOKEN  OF  BY  DANIEL" [Matthew 24:15.  Therefore, Daniel's prophecy is the "rule," or "standard," by which to "measure" any alleged "fulfillment."  When one compares the A. D. 70 scenario to Daniel 11, the "puzzle" does not "fit."

          The obvious conclusion is that Daniel 11:31 and Matthew 24:15 HAVE  NOT  BEEN  FULFILLED, neither in A. D. 70 nor at any time since.

          It is a simple matter to rack up quotation-after-quotation from various writers who have repeated the foregoing theories on both Antiochus and A. D. 70, but the problem is none of them presents evidence to correlate Daniel 11 with the events of A. D. 70.  I welcome any comments on this matter from my readers.

          My view is that we still look to the future for the fulfillment of Daniel 11:31 and Matthew 24:15 and the related events of those passages.  A Middle East king (not the Pope and not a leader from Europe) will fulfill Daniel 11:21-45, conquering the nations of that area and building his "palace" in Jerusalem [Daniel 11:45].  This man is Daniel's "little horn," Paul's "man of sin," and Revelation's "beast."  He arises in the northern area [Daniel 11:21], and through a series of conflicts and wars, dominates the nations of the Middle East.  He will be defeated and destroyed at the second coming of Christ.

          Critics of my views on the "Little Horn" of Daniel chapters 7-11 are usually either "preterists" or "historicists" in their interpretation of prophetic Scriptures.  Preterists say the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A. D. 70 fulfills much of what I believe is yet future.  Historicists say Roman Catholicism fulfills Revelation on the "beast" and the papal system is the Antichrist.  In a word, both interpretations have arbitrarily declared that certain events and persons "fulfill" prophecy.  I say "arbitrarily" because the Scripture of course nowhere declares that A. D. 70 or Romanism fulfilled anything.

        The Preterists and Historicists who are critical of my mere "speculation" about the prophecies of Daniel in relation to current events in the Middle East have suggested that I am guilty of the very thing which they have already done--namely, claiming a "current event" fulfillment of prophecy !  The fact is, I have only presented a conjectured "parallel" between the career of the "Little Horn" and that of Saddam Hussein while clearly stating this this conjecture is NOT a conclusion--that is, I could certainly be wrong.

          So I have not "gone" as far-off the "deep end" as my critics--they are the ones who have already made a conclusion, declaring that post-biblical events in time have already "fulfilled" prophecy.  I reject their claims that the prophecies have been fulfilled because they have no authority for them.  Their only "authority" is to quote the Apocrypha, Jerome, the "Fathers," the Protestant Reformers, etc, and these sources are no more than human authorities who said that certain "current events" fulfilled prophecy.  If Luther and Calvin declared the Pope to be the Antichrist, is that the "final word ?"  If John L Bray and his cadre of authors say that A. D. 70 fulfills the "abomination of desolation," is that the absolute truth ?  What message from Heaven revealed this "truth ?"

          I am not the one who has set myself up to tell you about the "fulfillment" of prophecy; rather, the Preterists and the Historicists, plus certain ones among the premill "futurists" (Lindsey, Van Impe, etc.), are the ones who have "gone-over-board" and declared certain things as "fulfillments."  At the worst, all I have done is to present a general "parallel," suggesting the "possibility" (humanly speaking) that current events taking place in the Middle East could be what Daniel prophesied in chapters 7-11.  Thus far, that conjectured "parallel" is holding up, and as long as Saddam is alive, I am inclined to think it will hold up.  | Read the whole "parallel" in my book, NOT ONE STONE, see details below |

         The Preterists and Historicists are "stuck in the mud" of their "fulfilled" theories.  I am not "stuck in the mud" of declaring anything as a "fulfillment."  All I am doing, is "watching" and "comparing" to Scripture, especially Daniel, chapter eleven.  The Preterists, Historicists, and most Futurists avoid Daniel 11:21-45 like a plague !

Written by  Bob L. Ross

A Primer on "PRETERISM"



The editor of Quest, published by a "Preterist" group called "Holy Ground Ministries" (from Riverside, New Jersey, USA), says in the May '97 newsletter: "Preterism as a movement within Christianity is YOUNG and there are so many areas of UNEXPLORED turf (Holy Ground) within Scripture" (pg. 2) [caps mine].

This was sent by Bill Kanengiser, who was directing me to read Philip Mauro on "Daniel's 70 weeks." I had already read Mauro, and even critiqued his "hatchet-job" on Daniel, and also critiqued a lame "repeat" of Mauro's views by Donald Hochner on the "Preterist Archive" website ( The foregoing quotation, however, focuses on a "valid point" which I am more-and-more finding to be a "general rule" with Christians who believe the Second Coming of Christ is yet future and that is, this is a "new" subject to most, and they do not yet know what "Preterism" is. Hence, the purpose of this short article is to furnish a short "Primer" on the subject.

 1What is "Preterism"?

It is believing that prophetic events have been fulfilled in the past and are not to be viewed as events of the future.

 2What is involved in "Preterism"?

It involves any prophetic event which is viewed as having been fulfilled, such as the Second Coming of Christ, which is said to have taken place in A.D.70.

 3Does "Preterism" cover more than the Second Coming?

There are some who call themselves "Full Preterist" and some who call themselves "Part Preterist." The "Full Preties" hold that "everything" has been fulfilled, including the Second Coming, the Rapture, the Antichrist, the Tribulation, the Millennium, the Resurrection, the Judgment you name it. "Part Preties" hold that only some of these things were fulfilled.

 4Who "defines" the theory or theories of "Preterism"?

The definitions in this category vary, as there is not, to my knowledge, a "Confession of Faith" or anything similar which serves as a "standard" or "symbol." What is available are the writings of certain men, and consequently miscellaneous differences on "interpretations." Books by J. Stuart Russell, John L. Bray, Max King, and the materials available on various websites are somewhat "representative" of much of modern Preterism. Read this explanation:

 5Where did "Preterism" come from?

A basic "guiding principle"of Preterism is that uninspired men are capable of discerning and declaring the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The first instance of the "exercise" of this alleged capability, as it relates to prophecies such as those in Daniel, was by the Jewish author(s) of the books of Maccabees in the Apocrypha. It was alleged that Antiochus Epiphanes and his "pig" fulfilled the "abomination of desolation" (1 Maccabees 1).

 6Was Antiochus and the pig the fulfillment of Daniel?

NO Jesus placed Daniel's "abomination of desolation" beyond His own lifetime (Matthew 24:15). This is the only reference to Daniel in the New Testament; if we are bound to the record of the Bible, we must reject the Jewish theory. There was no "prophet" on the scene during the time of the Maccabees (1 Maccabees 4:46), and it was not a prophet who proclaimed that the prophecy of Daniel was fulfilled. Perhaps no other single idea has done more to mislead people about Daniel than the theory about Antiochus and the pig.
 7Isn't this theory often contained in commentaries
     and in the notes of "Reference Bibles"?

YES it is borrowed from Jewish sources which concocted the "historical fulfillment" theory and drafted a "parallel" of certain historical events which were supposedly a "match" to Daniel. But it is "full of holes," and many of them are cited by Keil & Delitzsch in their commentary on Daniel. The purpose served by the Jewish "chronology" is elimination of prophecies by Daniel on the Second Coming of Christ.

 8What is the source of the "A.D.70" theory?

This theory arose as a result of the theories of Josephus, the Pharisee Priest who wrote under the authority of the Roman Emperor Titus. Despite the fact Josephus believed in the Maccabees' view about Antiochus in relation to fulfilling the prophecies of Daniel, when he wrote the history of the Roman conquest of Jerusalem, he abridged his view to "make room" to incorporate Titus and the Romans as "also" fulfilling Daniel (Josephus Kregel Pub., pg. 227).

The Jewish Pharisee priest who was the"Puppet" historian paid by the Roman Emperor TITUS to write the story of Rome's conquest of Jerusalem in which he was the first "Preterist" to proclaim the Romans a "Fulfillment" of Daniel's Prophecies. He is the "Authority" for MODERN PRETERISM.


 9Just how did Josephus' theories on Daniel
     become associated with Christian teachings?

Later "church" writers, such as Eusebius, adopted the view of Josephus that the Romans "fulfilled" writings by Daniel, and associated the "abomination of desolation" (Matthew 24:15) with this idea. Eusebius appealed to Josephus as "history" for the fulfillment of the "abomination of desolation," making Daniel and Matthew 24:15 apply to A.D.70. The "forty year" theory as a "time frame" may also have been "fathered" by Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History pgs. 86-87, 93-94).

The writings of "Saint" Jerome on Daniel also contributed to the confusion on the prophecies of Daniel, as many writers followed the ideas of this fourth century author.

 10To what extent is the Preterism of Josephus accepted?

Daniel Whitby is an example of the "stock" placed upon the writings of Jospehus by those who view A.D.70 as of prophetic significance. A "footnote" in Whiston's translation of Josephus, states: "Dr. Whitby well observes, no small part of the evidence for the truth of the Christian religion does depend upon the 'completions' of the prophecies, and it is believed 'Josephus' history' furnishes a record of 'their exact completions' " (pg. 589) [emphasis mine].

In the "Introduction" to Josephus, the writer says, "But for the variations in Josephus, he might imperceptibly have been set up as equal to writers chosen by God to describe his ways and doings. The Antiquities would have become a substitute for the Bible..." (pg. xv) [emphasis mine].


 11What about the more "modern" Preterists; do they view Josephus?

One finds modern Preterist sources relying heavily upon the writings of Josephus, so far as they can allege a "physical" type of "evidence;" but in the absence of physical evidence of the more substantial and important events (such as the Return, Bodily Resurrection, and Judgment), the "interpretation" becomes another sort, and it is alleged that these took place "invisibly," or in some "spiritual" sense. Josephus makes no report of "seeing" Jesus, the Resurrection, and the Judgment, so it is necessary for Preterists to make the prophecies to have an "unseen" fulfillment. And this you must accept "by faith."

So the "hermeneutic" of Preterism is geared to writings by a Pharisee Priest (who was not a believer in Jesus Christ) as being the "rule" by which to determine prophetic fulfillments, and where there is no "physical" evidence, then one must resort to the "spiritual" sense. This parallels the usual "adjustment" of interpretation made by "predictors" whose "predictions" have failed, and some other "sense" is then adopted. Preterists simply do it in a "retrospective" manner.

 12Does Preterism allege "Scriptural" support?

Preterism begins with the presupposition that the Return of Christ took place in A.D.70, then it proceeds to impose this idea upon the Bible teaching of the "imminence" of the Return. Imminence becomes "prediction" in the mind of the Preterist! Thus, any Scripture that implies the imminence of the Return of Christ is applied by the Preterist to A.D.70, in accordance with the presupposed theory.

 13What is the basic error in their approach?

A basic error involves skirting of the fact that (1) Jesus said He did not "know" the time of His Return, and (2) that it was "not for you to know" the times or seasons for the events which the Father has put "in His own power" (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2; Acts 1:8; Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32). Preterist interpretations rest upon the assumption that Jesus did in fact know when He would return, and that He "predicted" an alleged "time frame" for His coming; Preterism also imposes "prediction" into the teachings of the Apostles, as if they knew the "times' and seasons" were within a "time frame."

 14What are primary verses to which Preterists appeal?

The ones which are the "sugar-sticks" are all in Matthew 10:23, 16:28, & 24:34.

 15Please comment on Matthew 10:23.

Matthew 10:23 is obviously referring to the "coming" of Jesus into the "cities" of Israel where He sent the disciples (see Matthew 11:1). The disciples were sent on a "short" mission to "cities of Israel," and they would not finish it before Jesus had also "come" to preach in those "cities." The Preterist view would have this mean that the Second Coming would occur before the disciples had completed this "short" mission! In fact, they would still be on this mission up to A.D.70!

 16Please comment on Matthew 16:28.

Matthew 16:28 could only be the "coming" described in 17:1-9, as Peter relates in 2 Peter 1:16-18. The Preterist view that this refers to a "coming" in A.D.70 makes this a "prediction," which would mean that Jesus did know when He would return. What Jesus did know (and state) was that only "some" (Peter, James, John) would see the "Transfiguration," which they did. Preterists teach that only John was alive in A.D.70, which would mean he alone would have "seen" the Coming, clearly contradicting what Jesus said "some."

 17Please comment on Matthew 24:34.

Matthew 24:34 has the word "generation," which the Preterists insist is a "40 year period of time," or "time frame," when in fact, it refers to the "progeny" that is traced as far back as Cain, and the case of the slaying of Zacharias in 2 Chronicles 24 (Matthew 23:35).

The Preterists make a play on "the Greek," when in fact, the Greek words derive from the same word and all are defined to mean "progeny" by the New Analytical Greek Lexicon. The word is not referring to a "period of time." The Preterist view again is based on the error that Jesus knew when He would return and was making a "prediction," clearly contradicting Scriptures which teach otherwise.

 18What about other verses?

Other than these verses, on writings by the Apostles it is necessary for Preterists to allege that the Apostles knew the "times and seasons," and were making "predictions." With such erroneous presuppositions, all of the verses that teach the "imminence" of the Return are viewed erroneously as being predictions.

But if it is accepted that Jesus did not know when He would return, and that it was not for the disciples to know, then all that is taught by Jesus and the Apostles is the imminence of the Return. And when Peter was met with an objection which related to the matter of "time" "Where is the promise of His coming?" (as if it had been "too long" for the promise of His coming to be taken seriously), Peter's reply discounted the significance of any length of time involved, as he referred to this in relation to God's "clock" on time (2 Peter 3:8). Viewed on God's "calendar," it's hardly been "two days" since Jesus went back to Heaven. And what Peter said about this matter in his epistle is just as valid today as it was in his day.

If you have questions on Preterism, please send them; I will be happy to answer.

>> EMAIL - <<

Please see the links below for more study; especially "The TIME of Jesus Christ's RETURN."

Note My two books: NOT ONE STONE, ISBN 1-56186-521-4, $6,


present a more detailed discussion of Daniel 11 and the prophecies concerning the end of the age.

(+ $2 shipping, either book)


*  "BOB'S LIST" UPON REQUEST, Bob will add you to his E-MAIL LIST to receive his regular articles, many featuring comments on Preterism. Several recent refutations of the Preterism advocated by both the "Part-Preties" and "Full-Preties" are available in our email Files. At your request, we will add your name to our mailing list. "Back articles" are also available on request.

Author: Bob L. Ross


What do YOU think ?

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08 Oct 2001


I disagree that Daniel's prophecy is the "rule," or "standard," by which to "measure" any alleged "fulfillment. The standard by which all scriptures relating to the "end time" should be measured is Jesus' statement in Matthew 24 that "this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled", which includes his second coming. There is no ambiguity in this statement. In fact, it is so beautifully simple that a child could easily understand it.

Filtering end time prophetic scriptures through Jesus' statement in Matthew 24 safeguards biblical truth by preventing those who attempt to convolute, contort and manipulate other prophetic scriptures to fit their preconceived construct.

10 Nov 2001


Daniel 11 deals with the activities of the Gentile nations and particularly with the 3 kings of v.2 Mat. 24 deals with the judgement of Israel.

30 May 2003


Brother you are right daniel,s seventyith week is yet to come for it leads up to chrsts return and the insuing battle {the battle of armagedon. However it appears that you are guilty of doing exactly what you are pointing the finger at others for. You are blatentaly dennying the evidence of dan ch 9 and claiming that the last king of the north dan 11;21--45 has nothing to do with the pope or a revived roman empire ,i take it that you are a sunday worshiper???? THE anti christ who is to come shall be the prince of the people who destroyed the city and the sanctuary 70 A.D. THE ROMAN PEOPLE. The feet and toes of daniel,s fourth beast kingdom is currently rissing in the form of the EU A REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE AND ITS SPIRITUAL LEADER {THE POPE}SHALL EVENTUALLY CONTROL IT?????

02 Jun 2003


My belief is that the prophecy of Daniel has been fulfilled. However, unlike Preterism I believe that the Second Coming of Christ did not occur in A.D. 70 but in fact these were the Apcolyptic events of the Jewish people and religion ending not in A.D. 70 but actually in near A.D. 130 in which 13 Roman Legions destroyed the last Jewish Army. The Jews in this rebellion killed over 10,000 Roman soldiers and in revenge the Romans killed many thousands of Jews who then fled to all parts of the world (most to Spain and Russia). The Romans then renamed the Holy land Palestine (meaning Philistine) as a insult to the Jews. If Daniel was a account of future end times why would there be a need for Revelation? Answer is that there would not be a need for the Propechy of Revelation. Therefore, although Daniel has been fulfilled and was the end of Jewish civilization in a Cosmic cycle so is Revelation suppose to be the end of the Christians. However, the moment of truth will be revealed to all because it is at this moment that all will know that Christ is the Lord for he will defeat all of those who oppose him and his Kingdom will be established forever thereby ending the reign of man on earth. 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. 11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

02 Jun 2003


EU A REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE AND ITS SPIRITUAL LEADER? By the way, what you say is true and the Catholic Church will be one false propet but so will the Islamic religion be the ultimate false prophet. The E.U. President who I believe will be the Anti-Christ will bring the Catholics and Islamics together. Therefore, a ONE WORLD RELIGION. When you see a Islamic flag flying along with other European Nations at the Vatican, the time is near.

30 Dec 2003


I understand the curosity and the desire to know such is part of human nature. However, He said that no man shall know the day or the hour ( paraphrase) of His return. So why don't we all just exist in the comfort of the Salvation that He has promised to believers and share our belief with any who will listen. The thing that has always turned me off from organized religion is the compulsion to indict others ie: " I take it you are a Sunday worshiper " It must be awsome to have all the right answers!!

17 Sep 2004


Great website !!! You are on target Bob. Thanks for presenting the correct interpretation of prophetic scriptures that relate to the time of the end. The Roman or subsequent empires are not in the scope of Bible prophecy. See my website I am still under construction, but most of it is there. Stephen A. Moeckly

Date: 24 Oct 2005
Time: 12:30:13




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