Gary DeMar shows the failure of John Murray's "Historical Idealism"
(Contrasted with Modern Idealism - the native hermeneutic of PreteristArchive.com. MI is to Historical Idealism as HP is to HyP.)
Relations and the Book of Revelation By
(Futurist: 1979-1996; Full Preterist: 1996-2006; Idealist: 2006-Eis tous aionios ton aionion)
Preterist-Idealism: The Wintery Flight (1876) "All who believed in Jesus Christ remembered what He had said, and left their homes hurriedly, and fled to a little town called Pella, on the other side of the river Jordan. Not one Christian perished in the siege of Jerusalem. The Jews who had refused to believe in Jesus, trusted to their strong walls, and their weapons, and stayed in the city.. Now, my children, I have not told you these things only as a chapter of history. I want you to learn some very important lessons from these words. For us there is an escape, a flight, to be undertaken, and for us there is a place of refuge like Pella. "
"Every student of the Epistle to the Hebrews must feel that it deals in a peculiar degree with the thoughts and trials of our own time. The situation of Jewish converts on the eve of the destruction of Jerusalem was necessarily marked by the sorest distress." (B.F. Westcott)
The Epistle to the Hebrews was written by the eternal Spirit for the whole Church of God in all ages. It shows us on what footing we are to stand before God as sinners; and in what way we are to draw near as worshippers. (Horatio Bonar in The Rent Veil)
AD70 Storyline Fundamentally Different from Historical Christianity's | The Lord Jesus Christ : Telos and Eschaton | Jerusalem as the Heart | Israel's History a Type - From Beginning to Very End | Not HyP: Matthew 10:23 | Matthew 16:27-28 | Matthew 26:64
In Hebrews 9, Paul is not writing about the necessity for Herod's Temple to be destroyed by Roman armies. Nor is Paul claiming that the final day will not come until the temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem at some distant time. Paul is not claiming that Herod's Temple stands in the way of the full establishment of the New Covenant. Nor is he teaching that that a future temple must be removed to pave the way for the full establishment of the New Covenant for Israel.
Despite widespread opinion to the contrary, Paul does not support any scenario whereby a temple is destroyed in Hebrews 9. Nor, for that matter, is he distinctly using the figure of any temple in Jerusalem -- whether from the past, present or future. Rather, Paul uses another tabernacle altogether to make his point. Utilizing a specific shadow in Israel's distant historical past to present its present state of fulfillment, the author of Hebrews rejoices in that which has come to pass at Calvary.
According to the author of Hebrews' "AD30 Preterist" hermeneutical system, full entrance into the holiest of all is seen as having been made a manifest reality in Jesus Christ. This transition from old to new is signified by the courts of the tabernacle in the wilderness.
Following a discussion of the covenants in Hebrews 8, Paul declares that the first covenant was made old when Jeremiah wrote that there was to be a "new covenant" for Israel (Jer. 31:31). According to his conclusion in Hebrews 8:13, Jewish theologians should not have been surprised by the coming of Christ and His redemptive sacrifice on the cross because of the warning of Jeremiah.
After this contrast of covenants, Paul narrows his focus in chapter nine.-
Hebrews 9 begins with a specific focus on “a tabernacle made”. The proper identification of this tabernacle is very important, because that will ultimately help explain verse 8, where we are told that “the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing”.
The focal point of his storyline narrows from the sanctuary (hagion) in verse 1 to the tabernacle (skene) in verse two. This narrowing of focus to the skene is likewise important in properly reading verse 8, where that which was “yet standing” was the skene and not the hagion.
Rather, the Greek word skene, translated “tabernacle” or “tent” in 9:2, is used by Paul to identify the Old Testament tabernacle in the wilderness.
Paul is using a visible figure to point out the teaching of the Holy Spirit regarding Jesus Christ. At no point is any bricked temple in Jerusalem used as a part of either his figure, or in the ultimate meaning assigned to the figure used. (The only sense in which this could be said to be true is if we consider Jesus one of Jerusalem's temples.) Futurist commentators who wish to mystically make Paul's figure in Hebrews 9 refer to a temple building in Jerusalem (such as a supposed future “third temple”) are misreading the passage as well as those who wish to make Paul's figure refer to the fall of Jerusalem by the armies of Titus in AD70.
The tabernacle in view is the same as spoken of in Acts 7:44:
(KJV, unless specified)
In the previous chapter in Hebrews, Paul uses the same Old Testament reference as part of his context:
The identification of this tabernacle is amply demonstrated by the author's long discussion of the exodus of Israel and their wilderness episode in the previous chapters. In addition, that the author is using the wilderness tabernacle as his figure in this passage is evidenced by the contents of the tabernacle in consideration:
Evidence of the identification of the wilderness tabernacle as Paul's figure abounds. The inclusion of the “ark of the covenant” -- among other items – demonstrates well enough that it is not Herod's Temple under consideration. Even though the ark would have been in Solomon's temple in Jerusalem, even that is not in view according to numerous indications.
Moses Stuart, a scholar respected by nearly all preterists, is cited by the editor of Calvin's Commentary on Hebrews for support, in that he wrote,
In addition to the contents of the tabernacle, the parts of speech used by Paul to refer back to the wilderness tabernacle reflect an edifice which is no longer in existence. Precisely identifying the author's focal point through the conjugation of verbs (whether they refer to his historical past, his historical present or his historical future), is difficult -- particularly when he uses complex points of view, such as later on when he refers to the rituals of a long gone tabernacle using a sense of “historical present.” Because of these difficulties, a lot of “wiggle room” is afforded for theological opportunists, who may wish to support the idea that Paul was referring to a Jerusalemite temple in his present or future.
However, there is general agreement in the early part of the chapter that Paul was looking backwards in time. Consistently, the past tense is used – even in Weymouth -- to illustrate the tabernacle that was in the author's historical past:
“had” also its sanctuary (v. 1)
in which “were” the lamp and the table (v. 2)
“was” a sacred tent (v. 3)
“had” a censer of gold (v. 4)
wherein “was” the golden pot (v. 4)
“were” a gold vase (v. 4)
“held” the manna (v. 4)
“were” the Cherubim (v. 5)
It is instructive to note that when we get to verse six, though, interpreters tend to break off in two distinct directions. Whereas the Authorized Version maintains the continuity of Paul's figure, those who wish to make Herod's Temple suddenly the new focal point of Paul's figure change “directions” through the conjugation of the verbs.
Ironically, Preterist and Futurist opportunists find fellowship in preferring to see a dramatic shift in time in verse six -- switching from the wilderness to Paul's own day. The difference in time works out to roughly 1,400 years! And in another point of irony, these passage reveal another occasion where "AD70 Preterists" rely upon the NON fulfillment of prophecy in order to support their dispensationalist scheme.
Regarding this dramatic fast forward, the Weymouth translation of the New Testament in Modern English (1900) is worthy of special consideration. As has been shown in the past, this is the most "preterist friendly" Bible version, being written by Richard Francis Weymouth ("If this belief ever obtains general acceptance the earlier date of the Apocalypse will also be regarded as fully established. For it will then be seen that the book describes beforehand events which took place in 70 A.D.") and Ernest Hampden Cook (co-editor and author of "The Christ Has Come") in order to best represent their hyper preteristic assumptions.
Not surprisingly, this slanted version has all of the verbs switching to the present tense as though Herod's Temple was in mind:
Dr. John Owen (1616 - 1683) agrees with the identification of the tabernacle in the wilderness as the continuing point of Paul's focus. Commenting on the first 10 verses of the chapter, Dr. Owen wrote:
Certainly, Preterists and Futurists alike may support their interpretation by claiming that in a mystical or theologically “synecdochal sense”, Paul is referring to many things -- including the wilderness tabernacle, Solomon's Temple, Zerubbabel's temple, the Old Testament period as a whole (including the exilic period when there were NO SACRIFICES being offered in any established tabernacle or temple), the old covenant in and of itself, as well as Herod's Temple (and in a very few cases, sacrifices in Jerusalem following AD70, as recorded by sacred and secular writers). However, such reading into the text is not considered consistent exegesis among those who claim to disdain “multiple fulfillments” and “hidden senses”, while championing a historical and grammatical method of interpreting of the scriptures.
Paul, when using the wilderness tabernacle as his figure, specifically chooses that structure which was initially and most directly ordained by God to Moses. Surely, we can differ as to what the Holy Spirit signifies by that figure, but we mustn't read a “spiritual sense” into the concrete and specific usage of the figure itself.
And the figure Paul uses in Hebrews 9 is the tabernacle in the wilderness -- NOT the temple of Herod.
2) First and Second: Hebrews 9:6-12 Contrasts Two Divisions, not Two Temples
Summation on Hebrews 9:8 - The point
is that while one was still in the antechamber, the way into the innermost
(second) tabernacle was obscured... but once entered into the holy of holies
(as Christians were already long before AD70 - 10:19-22, the type finding
its fulfillment in AD30 not AD70) then the outer (first) tabernacle is made
Equation: While the first has standing, the second is obscured. When the second is entered, the first loses all standing. Therefore, boldly enter through the veil: the torn body of Jesus.
What do YOU think ?
Date: 07 Dec 2009
Date: 27 Jan 2010
[TD: First things first, last things last. Focus on
Calvary and all will be well with your souls.]
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