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
Identifying Babylon in the New Testament
By Terry Siverd
The identification of the "Babylon" alluded to in the postscript of Peter's first epistle has long been a source of controversy for commentators. Peter wrote, "She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends greetings, and so does my son, Mark" (I Pet.5:13/NASV). What is meant by the appellation, "Babylon"? Barclay candidly observes, "Although it sounds so simple, this is a troublesome verse. It presents us with certain questions difficult of solution." 1(footnote) We believe the best way to attempt to answer this question is to strive to let Scripture interpret Scripture.
Several things about this verse (I Pet.5:13) ought to stimulate one's thinking. For our purposes here, we will labor with the understanding that the "she who is in Babylon" is a reference to the assembly of the saints, the church. Some have argued that this feminine Greek phrase might refer to an individual--perhaps a well-known Christian sister.2 (footnote) More specifically, some suppose it to be a reference to Peter's wife, who might well have journeyed with him at various times (Mt.8:14-15 and I Cor.9:5).3 (footnote) We prefer the view that is commonly communicated by the KJV, "the church that is at Babylon." Phillips and Moffatt both translate it similarly with, "your sister-church." Whatever interpretation one affirms, one thing is certain, there is a common denominator between those being written to and the one(s) sending greetings--both are "elect" or "chosen", i.e., both are children of God. Cf.I Pet.1:1 and 5:13.
My Son, Mark
The identity of Marcus or Mark has also been debated. In this essay we have adopted the view that this Mark is the John Mark mentioned in Luke's, "Acts Of The Apostles." He engaged in protracted missionary endeavors with the apostles Paul and Barnabas (Acts 12:25 & 15:39). Paul mentions Mark in three of his epistles (Col.4:10; Phile.24 & 2 Tim.4:11). The question mark surrounding the precise location of Paul's imprisonment(s) when he wrote Colossians and Philemon makes it impossible to place Mark in Rome with certainty. However, the 2 Tim.4:11 passage does indicate that Paul anticipated Mark's assistance in Rome at some future date. Whether he arrived before Paul's martyrdom or not, one can only speculate. It might have been that he never arrived. Scripture and tradition alike suggest that Mark and Peter maintained a close friendship and fellowship. Some have gone so far as to postulate that Mark's Gospel record is written, for the most part, from Peter's recollections.4 (footnote) Here again, whether this is true or not is open to speculation. Such collaboration was certainly a possibility, but many of the traditions upon which such theories have been built have been weighed and found wanting. However extensive the relationship between Peter and Mark might have been, it at least appears certain that Peter considered Mark to be his protege (for lack of a better word) and dubbed him as a "son" in the faith.5 (footnote) One other item of note pertaining to Mark that could prove particularly pertinent to this discussion is the observation that John Mark likely made his home in the city of Jerusalem (Acts 12:12 & 13:13).
Theories As To The Meaning Of Babylon
There are three popular theories as to the identity of "Babylon" in the text before us. One suggests that the word be taken at face value as a reference to Mesopotamian Babylon (the once great capital of the Assyrian King Nebuchadnezzar's famous empire). This is the Babylon located on the Euphrates River a considerable distance east of Palestine.6 (footnote) C. Vanderwaal emphatically contends that the Babylon of Revelation is Jerusalem, but his comments on I Pet.5:13 fail to tie the two together. He, too, leans toward Peter's reference being Assyrian Babylon.7 (footnote) While an Egyptian Babylon is mentioned by some as a possibility, very few consider it a prime suspect. Far and away the most popular theory is that Peter's "Babylon" constitutes a cloaked reference to Rome. A number of commentators adhere to this view.8 (footnote) Among the many who contend for Rome, some do not even feel a compulsion to justify such a view. Shelly, for example, simply states, "he sends greetings from the church at Rome."10 (footnote)
A More biblical Concept
There have been a number of scholars over the years who have posited in writing an alternative view for the identity of "Babylon." Two popular encyclopedias admit that Jerusalem might be the equivalent of John's "Babylon" (Rev.17f).11 (footnote) These references and others will be studied in more detail in Pt#2, where we will examine the identity of "Babylon" in John's Apocalypse. Very few authors have spent much ink in affirming Peter's "Babylon" as one and the same with John's. Two exceptions can be found in the writings of J. Stuart Russell and Joseph Balyeat.13 (footnote) It is refreshing to note their desire for a more consistent interpretation to this question.
Reasons For Identifying "Babylon" With Jerusalem
We would like to offer a few points that we believe are worthy of careful consideration. Individually and collectively these have led us to conclude that Peter wrote his epistles, not from Mesopotamian Babylon, not from an Egyptian Babylon, and not from the city of Rome, but from Jerusalem!
(1) A Mystery Name
John clearly announces that Babylon's identity is a "mystery" (Rev.17:5/NASV. She is not only "Babylon the Great" but she is also "the mother of harlots" and "the abominations of the earth" (Rev.17:5). This description is somewhat of an oxymoron. Jerusalem was God's glorious city. How could she be a harlot? Such a description made it a mystery, in need of God-given revelation to bring about the proper understanding. Back to Peter's "Babylon." Some see it "improbable that, in the midst of matter-of-fact communications and salutations, in a remarkably plain epistle, the symbolical language of prophecy should be used." 14 (footnote) Yet, as we have previously noted, "she" appears to be a reference to "the church" and "son" is most likely not a literal designation. Should it surprise us if "Babylon" takes on a meaning other than the literal? In fact, interpreting Babylon in a symbolic sense is actually more in keeping with the text. Guthrie aptly points out (although he sees Rome as "Babylon") that "the metaphorical use of diaspora" in 1:1 may give an indication of the authors bent of mind."15 (footnote) "Diaspora" was a word that spoke primarily of Christian Jews who had left Jerusalem and Judea because of persecution. How natural it would be for Peter to write to the Jewish diaspora from their national capital and their "mother church" in Jerusalem. Regarding this "diaspora," Balyeat recalls Acts 8:1 in answer to the question, "Where were they scattered from?" There Luke notes, "a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria" (Acts 8:1 and 11:19). Balyeat summarizes saying, "Thus his salutation makes perfect sense for someone who is writing from Jerusalem to those who had previously left; and makes no sense if he were writing from Rome."16 (footnote) This same writer also makes a good case against Peter's presence in Rome based upon a careful analysis of Paul's letter to the Romans. Paul preached in Rome. In keeping with his methodology, he does not desire to build upon another's foundation (Rom.1:15 and 15:20). Also, chapter 16 of Romans mentions many people, but there is no mention of the apostle Peter.17(footnote) Another relevant point is brought out by Harrison. He notes that "since the use of the term in Revelation without definition implies the popular understanding of its meaning, the same may be assumed for I Peter."18 (footnote) In other words, in the years prior to Jerusalem's fall, it had become a common practice among the faithful remnant to see Jerusalem consumed with corruption and on the brink of Divine judgment (I Pet.4:17). To communicate her dire straits with the label, "Babylon," was therefore quite apropos. We suspect strongly that this is the reason we find both Peter and John employing the term. It was most likely a popular, albeit ignominious, title for the once glorious city of David.
(2) Peter's Sphere Of Operation
None can deny that Peter traveled in preaching the gospel. He had preached in Samaria (Acts 10:14-15). He had gone with the gospel to Joppa (Acts 10:5) and Caesarea (Acts 10:24). He had journeyed to Antioch (Gal.2:11). Yet this cannot serve to discount the fact that the Biblical evidence points to Jerusalem as Peter's habitual and settled place of abode. Some have stated that, "it is not likely that Peter would have intrenched on Paul's field of labor--churches of Asia Minor during Paul's lifetime."19 (footnote) In keeping with the Jerusalem agreement (Gal.2:9), Paul worked among the gentiles, whereas Peter, James, and John went to the circumcision. There is an abundance of testimony in Scripture that shows Peter to be an established resident of Jerusalem.20 (footnote) As noted earlier, John Mark also resided in Jerusalem (I Pet.5:13 with Acts 12:12 & 13:13).Silas, Peter's amanuensis (I Pet.5:12), was also known as a prominent member of the Jerusalem church (Acts 15:22-32). Russell keenly points out, "we thus find all the persons named in the concluding portion of the epistle habitual residents of Jerusalem."21 (footnote)
(3) The time Of The Writing
Can any deny that there are numerous striking similarities between John's Apocalypse and Peter's epistles? Both anticipated an at-hand judgment (I Pet.4:5-7,17 and Rev.1:1,3, 22:6,10). Both spoke of the end or summation of all things (I Pet.4:7 and Rev.21:6). Both address the setting aside of the old heavens and earth and the establishment of the new (2 Pet.3:10,13 and Rev.20:11 & 21:1). Considerable evidence can be marshalled to show that both Peter and John wrote on the eve of Jerusalem's fall in A.D.70.22 (footnote)
(4) The Theme Of The Writing
When we see the proper time frame and historical setting for the writings of the epistle, not only does this harmonize with Peter's many time statements (1 Pet.1:5-6,20; 5:5-7,17; 5:10; 2 Pet.1:14,19; 3:3,9), but it also helps us grasp Peter's theme--the judgment of the Old Covenant Aeon. Just as the Apocalypse exudes a strong Judaic focus, so do the Petrine epistles. Peter's "end of all things" concerns the fulfillment or "restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from ancient time" (Acts 3:21). Jesus equated Jerusalem's fall with the time when "all these things" would take place (Mt.24:34).23 (footnote) These are terms that speak of covenant wrath. Peter writes concerning the last days of the Jewish commonwealth. He states, "it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God" (I Pet.4:17). We believe that this is a reference to the A.D.70 destruction of Jerusalem (the city and her sanctuary). What Vanderwaal says regarding Revelation is equally true of I Peter and all New Testament epistles that speak of judgment, "...it retains the emphases of the Old Testament prophets while speaking out against the covenant people--not against Rome. It carries forward the line of thought developed in the prophets and in Jesus' prophetic address recorded in Mt.24. `Jerusalem, Jerusalem!'" 24 (footnote) One only need to study carefully numerous Old Testament scriptures to see the basis for John's and Peter's tagging Jerusalem as "Babylon." For example, of Isa. 40-66, Milton S. Terry comments, "...these twenty-seven chapters, summed up in a word or two, depict the glorification of Zion, as consequent upon the downfall of Babylon."25(footnote) We will have more to say on this important point in Pt.#2.
Peter was an apostle to the circumcision. He resided in Jerusalem but undertook to write to Jewish Christians who had been scattered (driven away from Jerusalem). He wrote in the shadow of Jerusalem's fall in A.D. 70. He wrote admonitions in the language of covenant wrath. He warned of God's impending judgment upon the corrupt nation of Israel. He wrote from "Babylon" to those who were former residents of Jerusalem. His letters declare the imminent destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem. Peter's "Babylon" was none other than Jerusalem!
1 William Barclay, James & Peter, p276
What do YOU think ? Date: 28 Jun 2006
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Date: 28 Jun 2006
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