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HISTORICAL PRETERISM
(Minor Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Joseph Addison
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Wilhelm Bousset
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Rudolph E. Stier
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Noah Webster
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Some Thoughts on Hyper-Preterism

By Richard Barcellos, Pastor

Introduction

Three critiques of Hyper-preterism have been very helpful to me: Dr. Ken Gentry's, Pastor Jim West's, and Pastor Fred Zaspel's. All three are available on the web. Jim West's came because of dealing with Hyper-preterism on a pastoral level and is most helpful for pastors. In addition, I hear Ken Gentry is working on a book-length critique and Canon Press is soon to release one as well. Jim Jordan recently did a conference on it and informed me (via an email and upon my asking) that he considers it heresy and a growing evil.

I will offer reasons from 1 Corinthians 15 why I agree with this assessment of Hyper-preterism. I view it as neo-Hymenaenism (2 Tm. 2:16-18), a damning heresy, idle babbling, a cancer which must be cut out immediately!

 

1 Corinthians 15 and Hyper-preterism

Paul's logic in 1 Corinthians 15 is very clear and emphatic:

1. Christ rose from the dead bodily and physically, within space and time on the earth (1 Cor. 15:1-5).

2. After the pattern of Christ, the first fruits, all who are His, that is, all Christians shall rise from the dead bodily and physically, within space and time on the earth (1 Cor. 15:20, 23).

3. This resurrection of all who are His occurs at His coming (1 Cor. 15:23, 24).

4. Denying that all Christians shall rise from the dead bodily and physically, within space and time on the earth, precludes the veracity of Christ rising from the dead bodily and physically, within space and time on the earth (1 Cor. 15:12-19). This is clearly Paul's logic.

5. Hyper-preterism denies the latter (a bodily and physical resurrection of all Christians, within space and time on the earth), therefore, it cannot have the former. An explicit denial of the future bodily resurrection of the saints is an implicit denial of a past resurrection of Christ, in the logic of Paul, which is God's. Hear Paul on the matter: "But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen." (1 Cor. 15:13) The "resurrection of the dead" throughout the context is a resurrection patterned after the first fruits, Christ (1 Cor. 15:20, 23). Since Christ's resurrection was bodily and physical, within space and time on the earth, then so will be that of all Christians. According to Paul, if it is true that all Christians do not rise from the dead bodily and physically, within space and time on the earth, then Christ Himself did not rise from the dead bodily and physically, within space and time on the earth, and our faith is futile and we are still in our sins (1 Cor. 15:13-19). Denying the bodily and physical resurrection of the saints ends up being a denial of the resurrection of Christ! The veracity of one depends upon the veracity of the other.

 

Conclusion

Denying, or not being able to affirm without qualification, a future bodily and physical resurrection of the saints precludes a past bodily resurrection of Christ according to the logic of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:13. Moreover, no resurrection of Christ means our faith is in vain, we are still in our sins, and the gospel is destroyed. Hyper-preterism ends up denying an essential, core element of the gospel. Recall what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:1: "Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel …" First Corinthians 15 is an explication of Paul's gospel! Hyper-preterism denies one of the major tenets of the Pauline gospel. Hence, Hyper-preterism is heresy of the worst kind! It ends up denying the gospel itself! If one affirms Hyper-preterism, one denies the gospel. If one is with Hyper-preterism, one is without the gospel. If one is for Hyper-preterism, one is against the gospel.

In my thinking, this damning heresy is an evidence of the proneness toward novelty that many are driven to today. I believe the words of Calvin apply here when he said, "For there are always superstitious little fellows who dream up something new to win admiration for themselves." Let us rise to the occasion, stand for the old paths, speak the truth in love and boldness, and stop the mouths of idle talkers and deceivers who subvert households.

May the Lord purge His church of this new cancer which is, in actuality, a very old cancer. "But shun profane and idle babbling, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some (2 Timothy 2:16-18).

What do YOU think ?

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Date:
21 Jan 2004
Time:
15:26:35

Comments

The Bible says that "we are a chosen race a royal priesthood." Now, taking the above posters logic we should conclude that WE are JESUS! That is because if Jesus IS Israel and we IS Israel then we are Jesus?!?! more silliness from the hyper preterists


Date:
10 Jun 2004
Time:
13:43:34

Comments

I love this man. How can I reach him? He is a brother after my own heart and heretical preterists will never rest in the Body - excision is a must.


Date:
13 Nov 2004
Time:
17:41:10

Comments

To begin, I'm not the poster above. I'd like to look at 1 Corinthians 15 for a minute. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. First, I'd like to draw attention to verse 32. "I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily." What?! If the death and resurrection of which you speak is physical, Paul died and miraculously revived EVERY DAY! Does that make sense? Yet it is only a prelude to the clarification he presents, which you have very conveniently left out. In these versus, which are spoken just moments after the references from your article, Paul draws a distinction between the nature of physical death and resurrection of men and the death and resurrection in Christ. 42 "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;" 44 "it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body." Paul is even more emphatic in his distinction between the physical and the spiritual. Look at verse 50. 50 "Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable." To state that Christ came and offered himself as the atonement for our sins merely to bring physical life is insulting to say the least. Christ himself denies the physical kingdom to which you cling. Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm." - John 18:36 "In my thinking, this damning heresy is an evidence of the proneness toward novelty that many are driven to today." Obviously tradition is more important than truth. "I love this man. How can I reach him? He is a brother after my own heart..." Then you both appear to be very hateful of those whome you believe are deceived. I would be embarrassed to be associated with such pharisees as you. On the other hand, I've seen little but love and outreach from preterists to futurists. What does that say to you? Perhaps that we are convinced that Christ is at work in this world while you believe Christ will abandon it. "...in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction." - 2 Peter 3:16 I pray that God's wisdom and understanding will be imparted to you and so improve all our testimony before men.


  Date: 10 Mar 2010
Time: 06:32:17

Your Comments:

I was thinking of adding a pithy comment, but this is such a well reasoned rebuttal of the full-preterist position that I will simply say this: AMEN.
 

Date: 24 Aug 2010
Time: 01:07:01

Your Comments:

The victory Christ secures by his death and resurrection includes individuals with names that can be written in a book called the book of life. It seems that H-Preterist attempt to parse over the meaning of physical here misses the point of resurrection, which is that it is total or that it redeems the entire individual. When believer's manifest righteousness (sometimes in suffering) it is like a preview of things to come, highlighting their hope of eternal life to which they seek to "lay hold of." Christ's suffering was also very much physical, he really did suffer humiliating beatings knowing that God would raise him up in 3 days. His death and resurrection was both spiritual and physical, but all of these mysteries were misunderstood by the Jewish rulers according to Paul. If you are not a Christian, your spirit is already separated from God, and your physical body cannot experience resurrection because you and your works are evil. If all HPreterist can do is reject futurism what sort of works will they present to the Lord? Or will they somehow try to say that everything they did in the flesh, including who we are at birth, evaporates at baptism where we recieve a completely new identity. This might suggest that Christ's humanity and the works he did as a human, including the work on the cross, means nothing, i.e. it is passed away..."behold all things are new, the old is passed away." Why would we preach or hold as an example the life of Christ if his works are not the central in demonstrating what God requires of us who seek to lay hold of eternal life. Enduring to the end requires a hope of eternal life, otherwise enduring suffering is in vain. What is my name? No I mean the one given to me at my new birth? You know the one written in the lambs book of life?

 


Date: 02 Aug 2011
Time: 21:06:44

Your Comments:

Contra Barcellos
By The Happy Heretic



The fallacy of hasty (and unfounded) generalization runs rampant throughout Orthodox Christian thought. I will use an excerpt from The Last Days According to Jesus by R. C. Sproul as an illustrative example.

The phrase “this generation will by no means pass away” (Matt. 24:34) is repeated in almost identical language in the accounts of Mark and Luke (see appendix 2). First we notice that Jesus made this statement to his disciples who were alive and present with him at the time. They were the primary audience Jesus was addressing. Indeed subsequent generations of Christians are included by way of extension in the audience of all Jesus’ words. (Sproul 1998, 53)

Both English and Greek use demonstrative pronouns to make the subject under discussion explicit. In the case above, the demonstrative pronoun ‘this’ is singular and also points to something that is near in locale and/or time. It should also be noted that in this example, that the pronoun ‘this’ functions as an adjective, pointing to particular generation. If the writer really intended to include subsequent generations he would have said ‘this generation and those generations’ intimating more than one generation, including distant generations.

By the same token, the statement, “… if it is true that all Christians do not rise from the dead bodily and physically, within space and time on the earth, then Christ Himself did not rise from the dead bodily and physically, within space and time on the earth, and our faith is futile and we are still in our sins …” is according to Pastor Barcellos’ - not Paul!!!

Paul, as a former Pharisee, held the same belief about the resurrection as the Pharisees (Acts 24:15). The backdrop to this belief was the oral tradition, which was later redacted in the Talmud. It is clear from the Babylonian Talmud (particularly the Sanhedrin tractate) that not everyone would participate in the resurrection. Even the Old Testament prophecy about the resurrection said that many, not all, would participate in the resurrection (Daniel 12:2). Furthermore, if the first century Jewish Christians believed that the resurrection meant that “all” Christians would participate, the notion that the resurrection had already taken place could have never “spread like gangrene” (2 Timothy 2:17). Think about it.

While on the data of Acts 24:15, I should point out that Paul, in accordance with the Olivet Discourse, was expecting the resurrection and the Lord’s appearing to take place in the first century. Our translators conveniently decided to drop a word that is in the original Greek text. The NIV translation reads, “and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” The Greek word ‘mellein’ means ‘about to be.’ Therefore, the correct translation should read, “and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there is about to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.”

Also note that in 1 Corinthians 15:12, Paul is arguing against some who claimed that there was no resurrection at all. Pastor Barcellos, on the other hand, is arguing against the hyper-preterist who says that the resurrection was a first century event. Since the arguments are not the same, it does not follow that the hyper-preterist view “precludes a past bodily resurrection of Christ …”

The hyper-preterist takes the Lord at His word, “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened” (Matthew 24:34 and related passages). Either all these things happened in the generation contemporaneous to Jesus or it was a false prophecy. I choose the prior, what’s the your choice?


1 Samuel 24:12


Date: 02 Aug 2011
Time: 21:06:44

Your Comments:

Contra Barcellos
By The Happy Heretic



The fallacy of hasty (and unfounded) generalization runs rampant throughout Orthodox Christian thought. I will use an excerpt from The Last Days According to Jesus by R. C. Sproul as an illustrative example.

The phrase “this generation will by no means pass away” (Matt. 24:34) is repeated in almost identical language in the accounts of Mark and Luke (see appendix 2). First we notice that Jesus made this statement to his disciples who were alive and present with him at the time. They were the primary audience Jesus was addressing. Indeed subsequent generations of Christians are included by way of extension in the audience of all Jesus’ words. (Sproul 1998, 53)

Both English and Greek use demonstrative pronouns to make the subject under discussion explicit. In the case above, the demonstrative pronoun ‘this’ is singular and also points to something that is near in locale and/or time. It should also be noted that in this example, that the pronoun ‘this’ functions as an adjective, pointing to particular generation. If the writer really intended to include subsequent generations he would have said ‘this generation and those generations’ intimating more than one generation, including distant generations.

By the same token, the statement, “… if it is true that all Christians do not rise from the dead bodily and physically, within space and time on the earth, then Christ Himself did not rise from the dead bodily and physically, within space and time on the earth, and our faith is futile and we are still in our sins …” is according to Pastor Barcellos’ - not Paul!!!

Paul, as a former Pharisee, held the same belief about the resurrection as the Pharisees (Acts 24:15). The backdrop to this belief was the oral tradition, which was later redacted in the Talmud. It is clear from the Babylonian Talmud (particularly the Sanhedrin tractate) that not everyone would participate in the resurrection. Even the Old Testament prophecy about the resurrection said that many, not all, would participate in the resurrection (Daniel 12:2). Furthermore, if the first century Jewish Christians believed that the resurrection meant that “all” Christians would participate, the notion that the resurrection had already taken place could have never “spread like gangrene” (2 Timothy 2:17). Think about it.

While on the data of Acts 24:15, I should point out that Paul, in accordance with the Olivet Discourse, was expecting the resurrection and the Lord’s appearing to take place in the first century. Our translators conveniently decided to drop a word that is in the original Greek text. The NIV translation reads, “and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” The Greek word ‘mellein’ means ‘about to be.’ Therefore, the correct translation should read, “and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there is about to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.”

Also note that in 1 Corinthians 15:12, Paul is arguing against some who claimed that there was no resurrection at all. Pastor Barcellos, on the other hand, is arguing against the hyper-preterist who says that the resurrection was a first century event. Since the arguments are not the same, it does not follow that the hyper-preterist view “precludes a past bodily resurrection of Christ …”

The hyper-preterist takes the Lord at His word, “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened” (Matthew 24:34 and related passages). Either all these things happened in the generation contemporaneous to Jesus or it was a false prophecy. I choose the prior, what’s the your choice?


1 Samueal 24:12






 

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