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
SECOND COMING WHEN? "AD 66" or "AD 70" or "AD."?
AD66: "the first century Jews did "see" Jesus at His return as Josephus implies when he records the angelic armies being seen in the clouds in AD 66. The literal rapture idea also implies that the living and remaining saints "saw" Christ at His return when they were changed and caught up into the clouds to meet with Him at the destruction of the Temple in AD. (sic; source)
AD70: "Since Jesus came again in AD 70, He, for the first time ever, opened heaven to all of His people."
The Resurrected Body of Jesus Christ
By Walt Hibbard / Timothy King
It is common to evaluate the rightness of a theological position by the historically fluctuating rod called “orthodoxy.” It is interesting that “orthodoxy” today does not mean the same as it did a couple of centuries ago. Today, it is often defined as, “Adhering to an accepted or established doctrine,” or “Of or relating to the most conservative or traditional form of a religion, philosophy or ideology.” (The American Heritage Dictionary, third edition, 1994) According to this modern definition, medieval Roman Catholicism was “orthodox” in its day since it was the “accepted or established doctrine.”
However, in 1828, “orthodox” was defined as “Sound in the Christian faith; believing the genuine doctrines taught in the Scriptures.” (American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster) As a preterist, I believe that I am completely orthodox in every way according to the 1828 definition of the word.
When we deal with the nature of Jesus’ resurrected body as He explained it to His disciples, we understand that it was a physical body and not a spiritual body. He proved it by eating broiled fish and a honeycomb in their presence! “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” (Luke 24:39)
I agree that He presented Himself to the disciples in a physical, corporeal, body after His resurrection. Further, I do believe that the body of Jesus that suffered on the cross is that same body that the disciples saw up until His ascension. It was not a spiritual presence; it was His actual physical body.
But it is important to ask whether or not Jesus’ resurrected body was also His glorified body. Many assume that it was, but do not say why. I believe that the Scriptures teach that the body in which Jesus was crucified was the same body that came out of the grave, but that the body in which He now dwells is one that was changed or transformed.
Here I must appeal to the word of God to clarify our understanding of this subject. I would agree that He now exists in His glorified body, but I must insist from the Scriptures that it is not of the same essence that was crucified, buried, raised and ascended. It was changed after His ascent to the Father, as I shall demonstrate below.
First, I do not deny that the body that Jesus had from birth to death was a physical, mortal, perishable, natural body. It was also that same body that was raised from the grave at the resurrection that Sunday morning. But I believe that at some point after that, His resurrected body was changed into a glorified state.
Let’s begin with the period of time after His resurrection, but before His ascension. On these occasions, there were times when He was immediately recognized (Matt. 28:9-10; Mark 16:14). At other times He was not (Luke 24:13-31; John 20:14). He says He is “bone and flesh” (Luke 24:39) and He ate food (Luke 24:42-43).
His ability to vanish from sight is interesting (Luke 24:31), but we cannot conclude that this was caused by a change in the nature of His physical body after the resurrection. Before His crucifixion, He was able to walk on water (John 6:19) and pass through hostile crowds untouched (Luke 4:39-40). What’s the difference? My conclusion thus far is that we have no reason to doubt that Jesus’ body that went into the grave is the same body that came out of the grave with no appreciable change, not even decay (Acts 2:27).
Fortunately, the Scripture is not silent as to when the change into glorification took place. We have the inspired record of Jesus appearing on multiple occasions after His ascension. Was the body of His post-ascension appearances similar to or different from His post-resurrection/pre-ascension body? Here are some observations and questions that relate to this.
Paul declares that Christ appeared to Him and that he had seen the Lord (I Cor. 9:1; 15:8). What was His appearance then and how does it compare to His post-resurrection/pre-ascension appearances?
In Acts 9:3-4, we have this account: “As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’” This was definitely Jesus (v. 5).
In v. 17, we are told that this was “…the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came…” Here was a post-ascension appearance by Jesus in which there is no mention of a “bodily” appearance. The only physical manifestations mentioned were a bright “light from heaven” and a voice. Before one says that Paul did not see Christ’s appearance because of his blindness, consider that those who were with him were not blinded and it is said they witnessed the appearance of Christ as a “light” (Acts 22:9).
If Jesus had a physical, corporeal body which He will inhabit when He comes a second time, why did He not reveal Himself with this to Paul on the road to Damascus? Was He saving His physical body for later? Or, could it be that His physical body had been changed into its glorious essence by this time?
I Tim. 6:16 describes Jesus as He “who alone possesses immortality.” Reason with me on this: Was His body before the crucifixion mortal or immortal? It had to be mortal (able to die), because if it wasn’t, how could He have died for our sins? Is the body He possesses now (at the time Paul wrote 1 Timothy) mortal (able to die) or immortal (able not to die)? It has to be immortal since the inspired word says so. Conclusion: Jesus’ body was changed.
We need to remember that before the cross Jesus’ bodily form, while perfectly human and physical, according to Heb. 10:5 was especially “a body You have prepared for Me.” It was not a mortal body in the exact same sense as our mortal bodies. There was both continuity and discontinuity here. Only Jesus, who was sinless, was promised that His body would not see corruption (Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:27 & 13:35) as distinct from ours. No man could take His life from Him; only He had the power to lay it down and take it again (John 10:17-18. But we, unlike Jesus, are not only “able to die” but “destined to die” because of our sin. Jesus before the cross was “able not to die,” but He was not yet in a bodily form that was “not able to die.” After the ascension, it seems that his bodily form was “changed” so that in heaven He does now have a bodily form that is “not able to die. When we speak of Jesus’ bodily form as “able to die” (hence the cross), we are in no way taking away from His deity or glory of His Person as the Son of God.
Further, if He were to return in a mortal (as defined above), unchanged body, He could be subject to death again and this we know could not happen. My point here is that somewhere along the way (I believe after His ascension) the bodily form of Jesus was changed in its glory and nature; from mortal to immortal, from weakness to power, from natural to spiritual. It was the self-same body but changed in its bodily form, with no change in the glory of His Person, in order to dwell in heaven.
Do we not find in 1 Cor. 15:51-52 a clear statement of the nature of the resurrection as involving change? Certainly, the bulk of the chapter deals with the resurrection of our bodies, but there is also continuity with the body of Jesus, in that it, too, was changed. “…flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God…(vs. 50); hence, the need for change.
Please note this very carefully: I am not denying that Christ has a body. I am affirming that it is a “body of glory” that He did not possess before His crucifixion and ascension. Neither am I affirming that our resurrection will be bodiless! I believe that the resurrection does indeed involve the saints receiving new bodies (1 Cor. 15:37-38) – new, immortal, imperishable, spiritual bodies (vs. 42-49) – changed in nature from the bodies we now have.
The appearance of Jesus to John on Patmos certainly bears out the idea of a change in bodily form, appearance and nature (Rev. 1:12-17). This description bears no resemblance to the appearances found at the end of the Gospels and beginning of Acts. Further, the reaction of John, who was a witness to His resurrection and ascension, was much different from the reaction to the appearance of His beloved Savior in His glory. Jesus’ bodily form was changed!
Futurists often cite I John 3:2 as a proof-text for a bodily coming and our bodily resurrection to be like Jesus’ body: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” But if John is saying here that we will be like Jesus in His glorified bodily form, why then did he say, “…it has not yet been revealed what we shall be”?
After all, wasn’t John a witness to the resurrection? If he was talking about the bodily form of the pre-ascension Jesus, wouldn’t He have said, “We have seen what we will be like”? This passage only makes sense if you believe that the bodily form of Jesus was transformed into something that John had not yet seen, so it had to be different from what he had seen.
One other point needs to be considered. In Acts 1:11 (will so come in like manner) and in Rev. 1:7 (He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him) are verses that some scholars often tend to spiritualize away, not really wanting to deal with them in a literal fashion. However, I believe that these verses were meant to be taken literally, and that the first century Jews did "see" Jesus at His return as Josephus implies when he records the angelic armies being seen in the clouds in AD 66. The literal rapture idea also implies that the living and remaining saints "saw" Christ at His return when they were changed and caught up into the clouds to meet with Him at the destruction of the Temple in AD. (sic)
These are "expectation" statements that would have discredited Jesus if the disciples had not literally "seen" Jesus riding the clouds of heaven with His angels at His second coming. If we give in to the spiritualizing approach on Rev. 1:7, we will be hard pressed to take the other "expectation" statements literally either. This is a hermeneutical consistency issue that we must maintain. And there is no problem agreeing that the numerous Old Testament judgments against nations such as Egypt, Idumea, and Babylon, where foreign armies were used by God to bring His judgment, did not include a visible appearing of any Person of the Godhead. Those judgment events were types which foreshadowed the final judgment against the first century apostate Jewish nation and its temple, closing out the Old Covenant economy.
All of those past judgment events occurred prior to the incarnation and earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. The incarnation made all the difference when He dwelt personally among His people! He promised them that they would “see” Him personally (the Lord Himself will descend from heaven… I Thess. 4:16) and these first century believers had every right to expect to see Jesus coming in person. Surely He did not disappoint them, but fulfilled His promises exactly as He said He would!
I do not believe that I have made any statements here that take away from the glory of Christ, nor have I dishonored Him in the handling of His inspired word. There is no Scripture-twisting here in drawing out the meaning of Scripture, nor in any of the conclusions, to the best of my knowledge and understanding.
Neither is it scripturally necessary to insist that corpses, bones, body particles or decayed organs from our earthly bodies will be reconstituted into incorruptible, immortal, glorious spiritual bodies. In fact, the seed analogy of I Cor. 15, esp. vs. 37-38, flatly denies such a notion. It is not just preterists who deny this, but many published scholars, such as Dr. Merrill Tenney of Wheaton’s Graduate School, and Dr. Kenneth Kantzer and Dr. Murray Harris of the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, who have written excellent studies in this area. They all rely heavily on Paul’s treatment of the subject in I Corinthians 15.
I, along with many other preterists, believe that the resurrection took place in AD 70 when Jesus opened the gates of Sheol/Hades (the grave). At that time, those dead believing saints, away from the presence of God, were released and taken to heaven together with those first century living saints. Jesus had told His disciples that He would go and prepare a place for them and would come again and receive them to Himself; that where He was, there they would be also (John 14:2-3). I Thess. 4 and I Cor. 15 describe this joyous gathering together of both Old Testament saints and first century living believers to be taken to heaven by the Lord Jesus. The amazing and numerous “expectation statements” of the New Testament plainly show us the marvelous hope and dependence on the promises of the Lord Jesus that characterized these persecuted and mistreated disciples and followers of Jesus Christ. And they were not disappointed when the second coming, resurrection, and judgment (rewards, not condemnation) happened in connection with the ending of the Old Covenant and the judgment on Jerusalem at AD 70. We know these things assuredly by faith in the infallible promises in our Bible.
At that same time, the unbelievers in Sheol/Hades (see Luke 16:19-31) were also resurrected according to Matt. 25:31-46; Acts 24:15, etc., judged and condemned to everlasting punishment away from the presence of God. Included in this group were the Old Covenant breakers of Jesus’ day who met the same fate of eternal damnation. The Acts passage above, using the Greek word “mello” for “will be,” is better translated “is about to be” a resurrection, thus highlighting the first century fulfillment.
When a Christian physically dies today, he is immediately given his incorruptible, immortal, glorified spiritual body, just like that of the Lord Jesus Himself, and ushered into God’s presence in heaven. John 14:2 & 3 has been fulfilled! Since Jesus came again in AD 70, He, for the first time ever, opened heaven to all of His people. The first to realize that blessed hope were the Old Testament believers out of Sheol/Hades, together with those living saints of that first century generation, who were caught up (I Thess. 4:13-19; I Cor. 15:50-56; II Cor. 5:1-4) to their new heavenly home. And those saints, from every forthcoming generation, will sequentially join those already in heaven as God calls them to Himself at the time of their death.
And yes, the resurrection body of believers is a spiritual body (I Cor. 15:44), but it is no less a real one! Paul tells us in vs. 45, “The first man Adam became a living being. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” Christ is the last Adam.
Finally, it should be obvious that a spiritual body, as set forth in Scripture, is much more than simply a body “fully controlled by the Holy Spirit” as some writers would have us believe. Read Revelation chapter 1 to get a magnificent picture of what a spiritual body is like. As Paul said in I Cor. 15:42-49, “there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” The natural body comes first and is suitable for life on this earth; the spiritual body comes later and is suitable for life in heaven. Again, we see the concept of “change” being emphasized. We must not confuse the different kinds of bodies. The Scriptures certainly do not!
* This article, in part, was taken from the very helpful Restoration Ministries website (www.restorationgj.com), hosted by Timothy King (no relation to Max King or his son, Tim, who has a similar name), and was revised and expanded by Walt Hibbard. Parts of the article written by Timothy are used with his permission.
What do YOU think ?
Email PreteristArchive.com's Sole Developer and Curator, Todd Dennis
(todd @ preteristarchive.com)
Opened in 1996