BOOKS: BIBLICAL STUDIES (1500BC-AD70) / EARLY CHRISTIAN PRETERISM (AD50-1000) / FREE ONLINE BOOKS (AD1000-2008)
AD70 Dispensationalism: According to
that view, AD70 was the end of 'this age' and the start of the 'age to come'.
Those who lived before AD70 could only 'see in part' and such, lacking
the resurrection and redemptive blessings which supposedly came only
Herod's Temple in Jerusalem
fell. Accordingly, AD70 was not only the end of Old
Testament Judaism, but it was also the end of the revelation of
Christianity as seen in the New Testament.
AD70 Dispensationalism: According to that view, AD70 was the end of 'this age' and the start of the 'age to come'. Those who lived before AD70 could only 'see in part' and such, lacking the resurrection and redemptive blessings which supposedly came only when Herod's Temple in Jerusalem fell. Accordingly, AD70 was not only the end of Old Testament Judaism, but it was also the end of the revelation of Christianity as seen in the New Testament.
material is being archived for balanced representation of all preterist views,
but is classified under the theological term hyper (as in beyond
the acceptable range of tolerable doctrines) at this website. The
classification of all full preterism as Hyper Preterism (HyP) is built
upon well over a decade of intense research at PreteristArchive.com, and
the convictions of
the website curator (a
former full preterist pastor). The HyP
theology of final resurrection and consummation in the fall of Jerusalem, with its dispensational line in AD70
(end of old age, start of new age), has never been known among authors
through nearly 20 centuries of Christianity leading up
to 1845, when the earliest known full preterist book was written.
Even though there may be many secondary points of agreement between
Historical/Modern Preterism and Hyper Preterism, their premises are undeniably and
THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED AS "HYPER PRETERIST"
"Full preterist" material is being archived for balanced representation of all preterist views, but is classified under the theological term hyper (as in beyond the acceptable range of tolerable doctrines) at this website. The classification of all full preterism as Hyper Preterism (HyP) is built upon well over a decade of intense research at PreteristArchive.com, and the convictions of the website curator (a former full preterist pastor). The HyP theology of final resurrection and consummation in the fall of Jerusalem, with its dispensational line in AD70 (end of old age, start of new age), has never been known among authors through nearly 20 centuries of Christianity leading up to 1845, when the earliest known full preterist book was written. Even though there may be many secondary points of agreement between Historical/Modern Preterism and Hyper Preterism, their premises are undeniably and fundamentally different.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED AS "HYPER PRETERIST"
SOME DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES OF SYSTEMATIZED HYPER PRETERISM
It is important to keep in mind that many ideas and doctrines full preterism appeals to - such as the complete end of the Old Covenant world in AD70 - are by no means distinctive to that view. Many non HyPs believe this as well, so one need not embrace the Hyper Preterist system in order to endorse this view. Following are exceptional doctrines which, so far as I've seen, are only taught by adherents of Hyper Preterism.:
DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY STANDARD FULL PRETERISM
DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY VARIOUS FORMS
Futurist Eschatology Unconvincing
By Daniel T. Silvestri
Traditionally the resurrection has been taught to be a manifestation of the dead buried bodies literally rising up out of the graves in a relatively physical and natural visual sense. We have also been traditionally taught this would occur at “the last day” of this physical world where every single being would be judged. In addition, it’s been traditionally taught that Jesus would return bodily. The anticipation of a future fulfilled biblical eschatology revolve upon these doctrinal “facts”.
The preterists believe that scripture is logical and consistent although difficult to always fully understand. Preterit theology employs a hermeneutic of scripture interpreting scripture. This means scriptural language and expressions define themselves. They believe that “timing” elements are almost always literal, in the normal sense, and that puzzling scriptural passages are best interpreted by plainer passages within the parameters and context of the whole of scripture. Preterists believe the principle of “original audience” relevance. Preterists are of the reformed school who insist upon sola scriptura to the point of rejecting creedal statements and traditional dogma when in conflict with the scripture. Since the timing elements and events indicate the “second coming” of Christ to be “near” back in the first century, the preterit doctrine of eschatology has its fulfillment occurring in A.D. 70.
The purpose of this writing is to bring forth some relatively simple, and yet powerful, scriptural points that preterism appears to deal with while futurism does not. It is probably the very reason preterism is capturing the attention of many and rapidly gaining acceptance in reformed circles. In contrast, the futurists present many of their own scriptural examples debunking preterism. However, the futurists MUST discontinue ignoring and side-stepping the very scriptures that found preterit theology if they are to maintain their eschatological ground. Of course, the preterist must also contend with the challenges set forth by the futurists.
A critical problem for the futurist is a convincing explanation of the overwhelming first century scriptural imminence of Christ’s return and the resurrection of the dead. If there were but a few imminent passages of Christ’s return and the impending resurrection, maybe the futurists could deal with this satisfactorily. However, there are a multitude of imminent verses. Therefore, the futurist typically resorts to a single verse, II Peter 3:8, as a “key” in an attempt to transform every NT verse of imminence into a long time delay. This means much of the NT scriptures had absolutely no relevancy for the original audience. Futurist have created a perpetual imminence, saying that every generation is to experience an expectation of an “any moment” return of Jesus. Is this legitimate? Is this prudent? Is it scripturally convincing? One glaring problem with this approach is the statement Jesus makes in Matthew 16:28;
“Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”
Rather than using “time” statements, this scripture clearly indicates an event that will occur within the life time of “some standing here” with Christ in the first century. Some futurists argue this event (coming in His kingdom) occurred at Pentecost. The problem with this argument comes when the prior verse is included.
“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”
Was every man rewarded according to his works at Pentecost? The futurist must explain this passage within proper context, and its meaning to that original first century audience.
In John’s Gospel we find the following account;
“Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” (John 21:22-23).
Once again, the timing of Jesus’ “coming” appears connected to an event, the life span of one of His first century followers. Jesus does not unequivocally state that John would not die before His return. However, many perceive this to be strongly implied. Interestingly enough, it seems John was the last Apostle to decease. Was John living at the time of Jesus’ “second coming”? Was there any expectation of a 2000 year delay presented here? This is where many futurists present a verse from the parable of the talents to establish the lord coming thousands of years later;
“After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them” (Matthew 25:19).
However, within the scope of this parable the lord returned within the life time of those servants. Is it to be presumed the lord returned thousands of years later when those servants were deceased?
Paul speaks about marriage, to those in Corinth, and says it would be better to not take a wife if possible. He was speaking to those in the first century when he said;
“But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away” (I Corinthians 7:29-31).
The futurist must explain exactly what fashion of the world was passing away shortly and how this passage can be transformed into a long future date, generations beyond the lifetime of those he was addressing in the first century. Are we, in every generation, to be as though we had no wives? Can this really be what Paul meant? Wasn’t Paul explaining to those first century saints the time was short back then? Isn’t this the plain, literal, and logical meaning of the text?
Speaking of the return and revelation of Jesus Christ, the writer to the Hebrews states;
“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
This has to qualify as one of the most poignant statements of Christ’s imminent return contained in the NT scriptures. In the most literal usual meaning of words, this is a statement of exhortation for those first century saints to continue in the will of God and remain faithful, because in a short time Christ will “come” and He will not delay. Is the writer actually telling them to be patient for Christ will come in two thousand years (a “short” time to God) instead of ten thousand years (a “tarry” time to God)? Would this have been a relief to those first century saints - an additional wait of 2000 years for the return of the Lord - a period of time longer than the entire existence of the nation of Israel? The idea of a time delay appears to be in direct conflict with the preaching of Jesus Christ;
“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15).
Gospel means “Good News”. The futurist would have it that Jesus is saying the time is fulfilled, but not really because the kingdom of God is two thousand years away. In other words, all of the OT Patriarchs and Saints looked forward to the coming of Messiah and salvation plan part A. However, in a few more thousand years Messiah would return to finally consummate the salvation plan (part B). Was this really the “good news”? Was the good news simply another promise of the promise?
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
“For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26).
Once more, we find a scriptural time period associated with an event. The biblical “last days” and the “end of the world” are tied to the life, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ back in the first century. The two verses above are written in plain and usual narrative form. This is not symbolic language or parabolic literature.
Apostle John ties the “Last Time” or “Last Hour” to an event;
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us” (I John 2:18-19).
According to John, there were many antichrists “even now” back in his first century generation. John says the presence of antichrists identifies the “Last time”. At very minimum, the futurist must concede to the “Last Time” beginning in John’s day and time. Since the “last time” begins in John’s day, the futurist creates a “parenthetical” time where supposedly God’s “clock stops”. This is the time “gap” inserted in the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel 9. In essence, this “gap” represents a scriptural “non-time” because the bible never speaks of it, or even hints at it. Accordingly, this means Jesus did not appear at the beginning of the Messianic age but rather at the beginning of a “non-age”. One problem is that Daniel’s prophecy disagrees with this. Daniel receives the prophecy that Messiah’s kingdom will begin in the fifth kingdom. Even the futurists generally agree the fifth kingdom refers to the time of the Roman Empire. Of course, this is also the time of Messiah’s advent. Daniel says;
“And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:14)
The futurists would have it that Jesus did not yet receive “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom”.
The prophet Daniel writes an account of his vision and speaks of the “great tribulation” and the resurrection of some to everlasting life and others to everlasting contempt. Daniel’ prophecy identifies when these two events will be fulfilled;
“it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. (Daniel 12:7).
Daniel is given a time statement of “a time, times, and an half” as a marker for when the fulfillment of the prophecy occurs. Daniel is also given an event to identify the fulfillment. What is this event that encompasses a scattering (shattering) of the holy people? According to the futurist, this has to be virtually the last event in human history. Therefore, the resurrection of the dead and white throne judgment, of Revelation 20, are tied to God shattering the power of the holy people. Does God come back in our future for the purpose of shattering the power of the holy people? Or is this the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70?
Daniel also is given the “70 weeks prophecy;
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (Daniel 9:24).
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:27).
Logic, contextual consistency, and the plain meaning of words dictate the “holy people” in Daniel 9 to be the same “holy people” in Daniel 12. The futurist must explain how or why the “holy people” in Daniel 9 are not the same “holy people” in Daniel 12. In addition, since all futurists generally agree the first 69 weeks were fulfilled in a normal chronological sequence, they must convincingly explain where, why, and how there becomes a “gap” in the 70 weeks sequence according to scripture. Daniel 9 and Daniel 12 appear to allude to the destruction of Jerusalem at AD 70. Actually, a careful examination of this prophecy reveals that Messiah comes in week 69; and after the 69th week He is cut off (Daniel 9:25-26). Messiah was cut off in the 70th week, and the desolation was “determined”. The futurist must satisfactorily explain how “after” 69 weeks is not a sequential entrance into the 70th week.
Daniel is also told;
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4).
According to “God’s time” (inspired scripture) it was over 600 years of man’s time to the advent of Messiah. In John’s account of the Revelation he is told
“And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. (Revelation 22:10).
This begs the question, if Daniel’s book was sealed for, say 600 + years, then how could John’s unsealed prophecy be unfulfilled 2000 years later? Did “God’s time” change? John was told, “The time is at hand”. When Jesus was preparing to go to the cross, He said His “time was at hand”, and Jesus appeared to have the same time as us. Did the Son have different time than the Father? Wasn’t Jesus and the Father one? Can the futurist explain this convincingly?
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Luke, speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem says;
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).
Aren’t Paul and Luke speaking of the same redemption? Wasn’t Jesus speaking of something that would happen in their lifetime? Or was Jesus telling them to lift up their heads thousands of years after they had deceased? Or when Jesus addressed those standing before Him as “You”, did he actually mean “Them”? The futurists must clarify this.
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. (Romans 13: 11-12).
It appears that Paul is telling them the day of salvation is near. Could the day of salvation be the same as the redemption Paul spoke of in his letter to the Ephesians, and that Jesus spoke of when he stated, “lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh”?
Speaking of the resurrection, Paul said;
“I do fully testify, then, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is about to judge living and dead at his manifestation and his reign” (II Timothy 4:1 YLT).
“'And I confess this to thee, that, according to the way that they call a sect, so serve I the God of the fathers, believing all things that in the law and the prophets have been written, having hope toward God, which they themselves also wait for, that there is about to be a rising again of the dead, both of righteous and unrighteous (Acts 24:15 YLT).
Of course, this sounds like Daniel’s resurrection;
“some to everlasting life and some to everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2).
Did Paul mean there is about to be a resurrection in a few thousand years? What is the futurist explanation for this passage? Did Paul make a mistake? Was everyone following a “code” (II Peter 3:8) and the saints recognized that Paul was speaking in terms of “God’s time” and not man’s? Therefore, was the resurrection about to take place in God’s time and not ours?
The futurists charge preterists with the same heresy of Hymenaeus and Philetus of the first century;
“And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
(II Timothy 2:17-18).
This passage, by implication, appears to speak very loudly in support of preterit eschatology. One strong implication of this passage is the fact that no one expected the resurrection to be visible in the normal worldly sense. If they did, no one could have possibly been convinced the resurrection already occurred, for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the rest of the dead, were not observed as being present citizens dwelling upon the earth. Another logical implication is that no one expected the resurrection to occur thousands of years later. On the contrary, they must have expected the resurrection to occur rather soon. That would explain why some could be convinced that it had already passed. In addition, they must have understood that usual earthly life would continue after the resurrection of the dead, which they all understood from Jesus, would occur at the “last day”. Therefore, the resurrection of the dead did not signify the last day of life on earth as we know it when every single person who ever lived would be judged for eternity.
There is a bodily resurrection described in the scriptures, but it is “a spiritual body”. Nowhere in scripture do we find the expression, “resurrection of the body” although the phrase is commonly used. Expressly addressing the question, “How are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come”, Paul identifies a spiritual body (I Corinthians 15:44) , and states that,
“Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual” (vs. 46).
Paul goes on to say,
“flesh and blood do not inherit the kingdom of God” (vs. 50).
Apparently Paul understood the nature of the resurrection as taught by Jesus;
“For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” (Matthew 22:30).
According to the scriptures, angels have qualities much different than physical beings. For one thing, they suddenly appear and disappear (sounds like Christ after the resurrection). Angels have “supernatural” qualities. Christ says those in the resurrection, “are as the angels of God in heaven”.
This is why Paul says;
“The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” (I Corinthians 15:47-50).
The futurist must convincingly explain how it can possibly be interpreted that Paul explained a physical body resurrection of the dead.
In summary, these are just a few biblical passages that are either completely side-stepped, or creatively transformed by futurist. The Spirit fell on the Day of Pentecost causing all saints there to begin testifying in foreign tongues;
“And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this (Acts 2:12)?
“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh” (Acts 2:16-17).
Preterists believe the “last days” were in the first century because Peter and other inspired writers said so. Preterists believe the imminent fiery judgment, Day of the Lord, return of Christ was at the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem. Preterists believe John the Baptist, and Jesus the Christ when they preached the kingdom of God being near back then. The futurist believes that NT imminence was not really imminent or it was delayed at Calvary. Didn’t Jesus suggest they would not recognize the “sign” of His coming;
“And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth” (Luke 18:7-8)?
The biggest tragedy of futurist eschatology is that it leaves no room for salvation here and now. Everything is still in the future. Similar to the OT Patriarchs, Israelites, and modern day “Jews”, the futurist awaits salvation from a coming Messiah and a worldly (political) kingdom.
“so also the Christ, once having been offered to bear the sins of many, a second time, apart from a sin-offering, shall appear, to those waiting for him -- to salvation! (Hebrews 9:28 YLT).
The futurist awaits the second appearance of Christ, apart from the sin offering, unto salvation. The preterist has salvation now. Fortunately, both futurist and preterist are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and not of eschatological doctrine.
All questions, comments, and criticisms can be sent to Daniel@atlantic.net
What do YOU think ?
Date: 20 Aug 2011
Email PreteristArchive.com's Sole Developer and Curator, Todd Dennis
(todd @ preteristarchive.com)
Opened in 1996