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EARLY CHURCH

Ambrose
Ambrose, Pseudo
Andreas
Arethas
Aphrahat
Athanasius
Augustine
Barnabus
BarSerapion
Baruch, Pseudo
Bede
Chrysostom
Chrysostom, Pseudo
Clement, Alexandria
Clement, Rome
Clement, Pseudo
Cyprian
Ephraem
Epiphanes
Eusebius
Gregory
Hegesippus
Hippolytus
Ignatius
Irenaeus
Isidore
James
Jerome
King Jesus
Apostle John
Lactantius
Luke
Mark
Justin Martyr
Mathetes
Matthew
Melito
Oecumenius
Origen
Apostle Paul
Apostle Peter
Maurus Rabanus
Remigius
"Solomon"
Severus
St. Symeon
Tertullian
Theophylact
Victorinus

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

Joseph Addison
Oswald T. Allis
Thomas Aquinas
Karl Auberlen
Augustine
Albert Barnes
Karl Barth
G.K. Beale
Beasley-Murray
John Bengel
Wilhelm Bousset
John A. Broadus

David Brown
"Haddington Brown"
F.F. Bruce

Augustin Calmut
John Calvin
B.H. Carroll
Johannes Cocceius
Vern Crisler
Thomas Dekker
Wilhelm De Wette
Philip Doddridge
Isaak Dorner
Dutch Annotators
Alfred Edersheim
Jonathan Edwards

E.B. Elliott
Heinrich Ewald
Patrick Fairbairn
Js. Farquharson
A.R. Fausset
Robert Fleming
Hermann Gebhardt
Geneva Bible
Charles Homer Giblin
John Gill
William Gilpin
W.B. Godbey
Ezra Gould
Hank Hanegraaff
Hengstenberg
Matthew Henry
G.A. Henty
George Holford
Johann von Hug
William Hurte
J, F, and Brown
B.W. Johnson
John Jortin
Benjamin Keach
K.F. Keil
Henry Kett
Richard Knatchbull
Johann Lange

Cornelius Lapide
Nathaniel Lardner
Jean Le Clerc
Peter Leithart
Jack P. Lewis
Abiel Livermore
John Locke
Martin Luther

James MacDonald
James MacKnight
Dave MacPherson
Keith Mathison
Philip Mauro
Thomas Manton
Heinrich Meyer
J.D. Michaelis
Johann Neander
Sir Isaac Newton
Thomas Newton
Stafford North
Dr. John Owen
 Blaise Pascal
William W. Patton
Arthur Pink

Thomas Pyle
Maurus Rabanus
St. Remigius

Anne Rice
Kim Riddlebarger
J.C. Robertson
Edward Robinson
Andrew Sandlin
Johann Schabalie
Philip Schaff
Thomas Scott
C.J. Seraiah
Daniel Smith
Dr. John Smith
C.H. Spurgeon

Rudolph E. Stier
A.H. Strong
St. Symeon
Theophylact
Friedrich Tholuck
George Townsend
James Ussher
Wm. Warburton
Benjamin Warfield

Noah Webster
John Wesley
B.F. Westcott
William Whiston
Herman Witsius
N.T. Wright

John Wycliffe
Richard Wynne
C.F.J. Zullig

MODERN PRETERISTS
(Major Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Firmin Abauzit
Jay Adams
Luis Alcazar
Greg Bahnsen
Beausobre, L'Enfant
Jacques Bousset
John L. Bray
David Brewster
Dr. John Brown
Thomas Brown
Newcombe Cappe
David Chilton
Adam Clarke

Henry Cowles
Ephraim Currier
R.W. Dale
Gary DeMar
P.S. Desprez
Johann Eichhorn
Heneage Elsley
F.W. Farrar
Samuel Frost
Kenneth Gentry
Steve Gregg
Hugo Grotius
Francis X. Gumerlock
Henry Hammond
Hampden-Cook
Friedrich Hartwig
Adolph Hausrath
Thomas Hayne
J.G. Herder
Timothy Kenrick
J. Marcellus Kik
Samuel Lee
Peter Leithart
John Lightfoot
Benjamin Marshall
F.D. Maurice
Marion Morris
Ovid Need, Jr
Wm. Newcombe
N.A. Nisbett
Gary North
Randall Otto
Zachary Pearce
Andrew Perriman
Beilby Porteus
Ernst Renan
Gregory Sharpe
Fr. Spadafora
R.C. Sproul
Moses Stuart
Milton S. Terry
Herbert Thorndike
C. Vanderwaal
Foy Wallace
Israel P. Warren
Chas Wellbeloved
J.J. Wetstein
Richard Weymouth
Daniel Whitby
George Wilkins
E.P. Woodward
 

FUTURISTS
(Virtually No Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 & Revelation in 1st C. - Types Only ; Also Included are "Higher Critics" Not Associated With Any Particular Eschatology)

Henry Alford
G.C. Berkower
Alan Patrick Boyd
John Bradford
Wm. Burkitt
George Caird
Conybeare/ Howson
John Crossan
John N. Darby
C.H. Dodd
E.B. Elliott
G.S. Faber
Jerry Falwell
Charles G. Finney
J.P. Green Sr.
Murray Harris
Thomas Ice

Benjamin Jowett
John N.D. Kelly

Hal Lindsey
John MacArthur
William Miller
Robert Mounce

Eduard Reuss

J.A.T. Robinson
George Rosenmuller
D.S. Russell
George Sandison
C.I. Scofield
Dr. John Smith

Norman Snaith
"Televangelists"
Thomas Torrance
Jack/Rex VanImpe
John Walvoord

Quakers : George Fox | Margaret Fell (Fox) | Isaac Penington


PRETERIST UNIVERSALISM | MODERN PRETERISM | PRETERIST IDEALISM

John Albert Broadus
(1827-1895)

Postmillennialist | Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Homiletics, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1859-1895

An American Commentary on the New Testament

[broadus.jpg]

"When Jerusalem is ready for destruction, the Roman armies will gather and destroy it."

 

Preterist Commentaries By Historical Preterism

Dividing Line Between Destruction of Jerusalem and General Judgment - Gradual Throughout Matthew 24:3-36 ; Definitely by v. 36

(On Matthew 24:14)
"'And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come'
could be regarded as a hyperbolical prediction of what was fulfilled before the destruction of Jerusalem, even as Paul wrote to the Colossians (about A.D. 63), concerning 'the gospel which ye heard, which was preached in all creation under heaven.' (Col. 1:23, Rev. Ver.) It will evidently be fulfilled much more thoroughly before the second coming of Christ; yet Paul's phrase, and the primary reference here to A.D.70 as 'the end,' should restrain theorizers from insisting that the second coming of Christ cannot take place until this has been fulfilled with literal completeness." (Broadus, vol. 1, p. 485)

(On Matthew 24:15)
"It is evident that our Lord interprets the prediction in Daniel as referring to the Messiah, and to that destruction of the city and temple which he is now foretelling; and his interpretation is authoritative for us." (ibid., vol. 1, p.486)

"We cannot say that v. 15-22 does not at all refer to the times just preceding our Lord's final coming; but no such reference shows itself." (idib. p. 488)

(On Matthew 24:28)
"Christ shall be revealed with a sudden vengeance; for when God shall cast off the city and people, grown ripe for destruction, like a carcase thrown out, the Roman soldiers, like eagles, shall straight fly to it with their eagles (ensigns) to tear and devour it."

"The meaning of the saying as here applied seems to be, that things will come to pass when the occasion for them exists. When Jerusalem is ready for destruction, the Roman armies will gather and destroy it." (ibid, p. 489)

(On Matthew 24:30; Nature of Christ's Return)
"Six months earlier (in 16:27 f.) he had declared that would come again in the glory of his Father, as the sovereign Judge of mankind; and that some of them then present would live to see him 'coming in his kingdom.' We there found it necessary to understand that the particular coming to which this last phrase especially refers took place at the destruction of Jerusalem, which made Christianity completely and manifestly distinct from Judaism, and established the Messianic kingdom in its permanent present state. The prediction then briefly made by our Lord is now (as a result of Matthew 24:30) more fully unfolded} (vol 1, Matthew, p. 479).

"It is practically impossible to suppose that v. 30f. relates simply to the destruction of Jerusalem. As the latter part of the discourse (25:31-36) clearly refers to the second coming of our Lord, it seems unavoidable to suppose a similar reference here; see also the corresponding passage, 13:41. But v. 34 will presently declare that "all" the foregoing matter will occur during the existing generation. Then we cannot believe (with Meyer and others) that the Saviour mistakenly expected his parousia to be within that generation, it follows that v. 29-31 must refer to the destruction of Jerusalem." (vol. 1, p. 491)

(On Matthew 24:34)
34. Verily, I say unto you (see on "Mt 5:18"), calling attention to something of special importance. This generation, as in #Mt 23:36, also #Mt 11:16 12:41 f.; and compare #Lu 17:25 with 21: 32. The word cannot have any other meaning here than the obvious one. The attempts to establish for it the sense of race or nation have failed. There are some examples in which it might have such a meaning, but none in which it must, for in every case the recognized meaning will answer, and so another sense is not admissible. (Comp. on #Mt 3:6) Some of the Fathers took it to mean the generation of believers, i. e., the Christians, etc., after the loose manner of interpreting into which many of them so often fell. We now commonly make the rough estimate of three generations to a century. The year in which our Lord said this was most probably AD. 30, and if so, it was forty years to the destruction of Jerusalem. The thought is thus the same as in #Mt 16:28; and comp. #Joh 21:22 f. Till all these things be fulfilled, or, more exactly, take place, ‘come to pass,’ see on "Mt 5:18". The emphasis is on ‘all.’ All the things predicted in v. 4-31 would occur before or in immediate connection with the destruction of Jerusalem. But like events might again occur in connection with another and greater coming of the Lord, and such seems evidently to be his meaning. (See on "Mt 24:3".)

"The emphasis is on 'all.' All the things predicted in v. 4-31 would occur before or in immediate connection with the destruction of Jerusalem. (p. 492)

(On "Transition Text Theory" of Matthew 24)
"Every attempt to assign a definite point between the two topics has proved a failure." (p. 480)

(On Parousia)
"The word suggests ... that Jesus will come and stay with his people ... Messiah's coming will be alike visible to all, and so there will be no occasion for some to tell others where he may be seen." (An American Commentary on the New Testament pp. 482,489)


(On Romans )
"We cannot imagine how they would shrink back from any doctrine with such a conclusion, that a Gentile is as good as a Jew. We do not know of any national or race prejudices in our time that are so strong as the prejudices then existing between Jew and Gentile. They would especially dislike such teaching from Paul the apostle. They would say he is a renegade himself to the religion of his fathers. He is a traitor to his people. They were indignant at the idea of his saying that a Gentile could be saved as well as a Jew. When Paul said, the following spring, in his address at Jerusalem, that Jesus had told him to go to the Gentiles, they broke out in rage, and he had to be saved by the Roman garrison.

The apostle knew how intensely they would dislike this idea, and so he wanted to assure them in entering upon this topic—the bearing of justification by faith upon the privileges of the Jews—he wanted to assure them that he loved his own people, and although he is bound to acknowledge, as he is going to acknowledge, that the great mass of. his people are rejecting the Messiah, while Gentiles all around are believing unto salvation, yet he acknowledges this with inexpressible pain and grief. That is the way he feels. That is what he wants to impress upon them. He sees what is coming for his nation. This epistle was written twelve years before the destruction of Jerusalem, and only eight years before the war that led to that destruction. The apostle saw that soon their hot fanaticism would break out in desperate rebellion against the Roman authority, and sooner or later they must be crushed out and ground to atoms.

Here was a man who saw that his own nation, his own race, bound to him not merely by nationality in the ordinary sense, but by ties of blood through long and pure descent, was going to ruin. His race alone of all the great races of the earth can trace their history back to a historic ancestor ; for all the other peoples find their ancestry lost in darkness, but the Jews could go back in history to their common father. His race had great and glorious deeds connected with its history in the past, and had yet more glorious promises for the future in connection with the Messiah." (Sermons and Addresses, pp. 113,114)

 

 

24: 1-36. DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM AND COMING OF CHRIST.

Found also in #Mr 13:1-32 Lu 21:5-33.

Our Lord’s last public discourse has now been ended. The day is probably Tuesday of the Passover week (see on "Mt 21: 18",)( see on "Mt 21:23"). He has been discoursing all day in the courts of the temple, and before turning away he draws instruction from the widow’s touching gift to the sacred treasury. {#Mr 12:41 Lu 21:1} He then leaves the temple, and seems never to have entered it again. In this final departure it was very natural that his thoughts should dwell on the impending destruction of the temple and the city. Moreover, as there is no sufficient reason for departing from Matthew’s order (comp. on #Mt 23:1,13), we see that he had just before predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and his own future coming. {#Mt 23:38 f.} Six months earlier {#Mt 16:27 f.} he had declared that he would come again in the glory of his Father, as the sovereign Judge of mankind; and that some then present would live to see him "coming in his kingdom." We there found it necessary to understand that the particular coming to which this last phrase especially refers took place at the destruction of Jerusalem, which made Christianity completely and manifestly distinct from Judaism, and established the Messianic kingdom in its permanent present state. The prediction then briefly made by our Lord is now more fully unfolded. He first declares in leaving the temple that it is going to be completely destroyed (v.1 f.); and then, sitting on the Mount of Olives, he gives the great discourse of ch. 24 and 25.

This discourse certainly foretells in the outset the destruction of Jerusalem (e. g., v. 15-21, v. 34); and in the conclusion certainly foretells the final coming of our Lord, with the general judgment of mankind and the resulting permanent state of the good and the bad, {#Mt 25:31-46} in a way substantially equivalent to the predictive descriptions afterwards given by the apostles. To refer that closing passage to the destruction of Jerusalem is absurd and impossible. So then the discourse begins with the destruction of the temple and city, and ends with the final coming to judgment: how does it make the transition from the former to the latter topic? Every attempt to assign a definite point of division between the two topics has proved a failure. Place it after v. 28, saying that up to that point only the former topic is meant, and after that point only the latter, and at once we see that v. 34 must refer to the destruction of Jerusalem. Place it after v. 34 or 36 or 42, and we cannot resist the persuasion that v. 30 f. (and v. 36) must refer to the final coming for judgment. {comp. #Mt 12:41-43 2Th 1:7-10} But if the destruction of Jerusalem was itself in one sense a coming of the Lord, why may we not suppose that the transition from this to the final coming is gradual? Then much in #Mt 24:3-36 may be taken as referring both to the former and the latter topic, while some of the expressions may refer exclusively to the one or the other. In #Mt 24:37 to 25:13 the earlier topic is sinking out of sight; in #Mt 25:31-46 it has completely disappeared, and nothing is in view but the final coming to judgment. (Luke and Mark are parallel only as far as #Mt 24:42) Similar cases occur in Old Test., where a prediction refers to some nearer event, and also, by typical relation, to a kindred event in the remoter future. This view does not rest on the crude notion of a "double sense" in Scripture words or phrases, but on the unquestionable Scripture use of types, prophetic as well as ceremonial. For example, in #Isa 41:8- 53:12, the predictions as to the "servant of Jehovah" make a gradual transition from Israel to the Messiah, the former alone being seen in #Isa 41:8 ff., the Messiah also appearing to view in #Isa 42:1 ff., {#Mt 12:18-21} and Israel quite sinking out of our sight in ch. 53. {#Ac 8:32-35} Comp. above on #Mt 2:15. All the Scripture predictions remained obscure till their fulfilment (comp. on v. 15). Accordingly we may expect here to see somewhat clearly the fulfilment in the destruction of Jerusalem, but the other and yet future fulfilment must remain still quite obscure, and we should be "contented (Alex.) with a careful explanation of the terms employed, according to analogy and usage, and a reverential waiting for ulterior disclosures by the light of divine providence shining on the word." Some zealous students of prophecy have brought reproach on the Scripture by their lack of moderation and reserve in the interpretation. It should be frankly conceded that grave difficulties attend the interpretation of this discourse in any of the methods that have been suggested. The view above described is believed to involve fewer difficulties, and to yield better results, than any other theory.

1 f. The temple is here ieron, the general sacred enclosure, see on "Mt 4:5". Jesus went into the Court of the Gentiles and the Court of Israel, but never into the central building (naov) and the surrounding Court of the Priests. (Comp. on #Mt 21:12) The clause ‘from the temple’ stands in the Greek (correct text) {1} between the participle rendered ‘went out’ and the verb ‘was going,’ and could be connected with the latter, as in Com. Ver., but is more naturally connected with the former, as in Rev. Ver. The preposition ‘from’ makes the temple the point of departure; the other expression, ‘going out,’ shows distinctly that he had been in the temple, which would be plain from the nature of the case. (Comp. on #Mt 3:16) Was going on his way (Rev. Ver.), doubtless returning towards Bethany, whence he had come that morning (#Mt 21:17 f.; #Lu 21:37); and the disciples interrupted his progress to show him the buildings of the temple (ieron). In Mark {#Mr 13:2} they are expressly called ‘great buildings,’ and in Mark and Luke special attention is directed to the vast "stones" employed. Josephus says ("Ant.," 15, 11, 3) that Herod built the sanctuary (naov) of stones that were "white and strong," probably meaning a hard variety of white limestone still much used in Palestine, and that they were about twenty-five cubits long, eight in height, and twelve in breadth, or in our feet about forty by twelve by twenty, which is even larger than the stones now found in the southern angles of Herod the Great’s outer wall. (See on "Mt 21:42") In "War," 5, 5, 6, Josephus even says that some of the stones were forty-five cubits long (eighty-five feet). Doubtless the inner walls also, and pillars of the colonnades (see on "Mt 21:12"), presented very large and ‘beautiful’ stones. {#Lu 21:5, Bib. Un. Ver.} It is doubtful whether any other pile of sacred buildings on earth has been so vast or to contemporaries so imposing as Herod’s temple. Talmud Bab. says: "He that never saw the temple of Herod, never saw a fine building." Luke’s other expression, ‘the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and offerings’ (Bib. Un. Ver.), recalls Josephus’ statement that "fastened all around the temple (ieron) were barbaric spoils, and all these King Herod offered up, adding whatever he took from the Arabians also." {Comp. #Re 21:26} There were doubtless also many votive tablets, and other beautiful objects offered by the people, to adorn all the courts and colonnades, as well as the central sacred building. Tacitus says ("Hist.," V., 8, 12), that it was "a temple of immense wealth," and so constructed as to be "an excellent fortress." Our Lord seems to have been outside of the temple when his attention was called by the disciples, but this does not show that they were observing only the stones of the outer wall, for the central building rose high above the outer court and its wall, and was visible to a great distance, as Josephus states, ("Ant.," 15, 11, 3.) Our Lord’s language in v. 2 shows that he is referring to the entire structure. And Jesus said, etc. But he answered and said, is the correct Greek text. The subsequent insertion of the name ‘Jesus’ is a thing of frequent occurrence in the manuscripts, comp. on #Mt 14:14. See ye not all these things? This called their attention to the vast and solid mass of buildings, by way of preparation for the statement that all would be overthrown, a thing which then seemed in the highest degree unlikely; indeed, we know that Titus fully meant to preserve it. (Jos. "War," 6, 4.) There shall not be left here one stone upon another. So also in Mark and Luke. Some stickle at the fact that several stones of Herod’s outer wall now remain in situ, e. g., at the Jews’ place of wailing, and at the southeast and southwest corners; indeed, at the southeast corner the recent English excavations reached foundation-stones supposed to have been laid by Solomon. Our Lord’s language is of course popular, and such an objection is trifling. Comp. #Jer 26:18. In fact, it is wonderful how literally the prediction was fulfilled, for very seldom was a great city so completely destroyed. Josephus says ("War," 7, 1, 1) that Titus finally ordered the whole city and the sanctuary to be razed to its foundations, except three towers and part of the western wall, and that all the rest of the city wall "was so completely levelled with the ground that there was no longer anything to lead those who visited the spot to believe that it had ever been inhabited."

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Professor of New Testament
Interpretation and Homiletics
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1859-1895
John Albert Broadus was born in Culpepper County, Virginia, 24 January, 1827. He was educated at the University of Virginia, and from 1851 till 1853 was assistant professor of ancient languages there. He then became pastor of the Baptist church in Charlottesville, and in 1859 professor of New Testament interpretation and homiletics in the Southern Baptist theological seminary at Greenville, South Carolina, now in Louisville, Kentucky As a Greek scholar and New Testament critic Dr. Broadus stands at the head of the Baptists of the south; but his only publication in this department is an elaborate review (in the "Religious Herald," 1866 and 1868)of the American Bible union's revised version of the New Testament. In 1870 he published "The Preparation and Delivery of Sermons," which has been adopted as a textbook in several theological seminaries. His other publications consist of sermons and review articles, and a series of papers, "Recollections of Travel," in the "Religious Herald," 1872-'3, describing a tour in Europe and the east; "Lectures on the History of Preaching" (1877); "Three Questions as to the Bible" (1884); "Commentary on Matthew" (1886); and "Sermons and Addresses" (1886).

John A. Broadus was born on January 24, 1827 in Culpepper County, Virginia. Broadus was born to great parents. Though his mother was not baptized until late in life, she educated all of the children as best anyone could in those days. John’s father was Major Edmund Broadus. Major Broadus was a farmer, teacher and often time state legislature. There was no more respected leader and Christian in the whole county and his name was known far and wide.

Through his early years Broadus had an education that was typical of the era. Sometimes he was schooled at home for lack of a school near enough to attend. At other times he was educated in a boarding school run by his uncle, Albert G. Simms. John was what people today would call “a normal red-blooded American male.”

When Broadus was sixteen, a protracted meeting was held at the Mt. Poney Church. One night while attending the meetings a friend came to him and quoted: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me. And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” “Can’ you take hold of that?” pleaded his friend. John did take hold of that and received Christ as His Lord and Savior. His life was never the same after that!

John’s love for souls and his zeal for sharing the gospel was born almost the same time he was born again. A few months after his conversion, the pastor invited members to share Christ with those who were unconverted in the meeting. Broadus had never attempted to share his faith before but decided to give it a try. He went to a young simple-minded mind by the name of Sandy. Sandy was converted and never missed a chance to come to Broadus later and say, “Howdy, John? thankee John.” Broadus told of this experience throughout his life and often would add, “And if ever I reach the heavenly home and walk the golden streets, I know the first person to meet me will be Sandy, coming and saying again: ‘Howdy, John? thankee John.’” This sympathetic side of John Broadus became the genius of his preaching. He was a man who was grounded in the great doctrine of Scripture but was also moved with deep compassion for the people who needed those truths so desperately.

In his late teens, Broadus took up teaching as a means of supporting himself and preparing for his further education. Then in 1846, he entered the University of Virginia. The school founded by Thomas Jefferson was considered the best educational institution in the United States at the time. There he joined the Jefferson Society, a debating club and gained his skills as an orator and defender of ideas. University life was a happy time for Broadus. He grew in stature both as a student and a follower of Jesus Christ.

While still a student at the University of Virginia Broadus preached his first sermon. Charming simplicity became a hallmark of the preaching John A. Broadus. Years later, in spite of his great theological training, his preaching retained a simplicity that drew people to it. He often later warned his seminary students not to flaunt their education. He knew it was a much harder task to present the deep truths in simplicity than it was to dazzle people with one’s much learning.

Shortly after his father’s death in 1850, Broadus was ordained as a Baptist minister and soon married Marie Harrson. Once again, Broadus took up teaching and also became the pastor of the Charlottesville Baptist Church in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1852. Later in that same year God visited the Charlottesville church in a mighty way. During a protracted meeting there were 40 professions of faith with 23 baptisms. This was a revival of a different ilk than what many think of when there is such a move of God. Broadus wrote of the meetings: “Our meetings were very quiet and solemn; and there was frequently felt a realizing of the Divine presence…”

By 1855, Broadus had left the Charlottesville Church to become chaplain at the University of Virginia. While enjoying much of the work, Broadus often found himself growing weary at times of the spiritual dryness exhibited by many of campus. During the following years, he along with other close friends began to develop a vision for a new seminary for Baptist in the South. Finally in June of 1857 they met as a formal committee to finalize their commitment to this great calling. Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky that day was J.P. Boyce, Broadus, Basil Manly, Jr., E.T. Winkler, and William Williams. Together they developed a plan for establishing a new seminary that they hoped would one day become a great theological university founded on a belief in the authority of God’s Word and a commitment to Biblical evangelism.

Broadus and his wife, Marie, returned to pastor the Charlottesville Baptist Church for a second time. These were high times indeed. The seminary was beginning to seem to be more than just a dream and the church had acquired a parsonage for the young couple. They and three children moved in with great anticipation for what God before them. As in years gone by, the cloud of death came over Broadus during one of his brightest moments. Just months after moving into their new home, Marie Broadus fell ill and died within only a week’s time. As she lay dying, Broadus’ 26 year old wife whispered, “Tell me about Jesus.” She left him with three girls, Eliza, Annie, and Maria, the youngest being only a year old. Broadus was grief stricken and tempted to lay it all aside. God had other plans and sent encouragement through church members and friends. There was still much to do and God was not through with John A. Broadus!

On May 1st, 1858, Broadus attended the Educational Convention in Greenville, South Carolina and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was formally established. Four professors were named: John A. Broadus, J.P. Boyce, Basil Manly, Jr., and E.T. Winkler. In January of 1859 Broadus married Charlotte Eleanor Sinclair gaining a trusted helpmeet and a mother for his three girls. A few months later Broadus said farewell to his beloved church and prepared for the first semester at the seminary in Greenville, South Carolina. God had blessed in many ways during his pastorate at Charlottesville. During his ministry there, Broadus baptized 241 precious people including a young lady by the name of Lottie Moon. Now, however, God had something new for him to do.

At the same time an institution of Christian learning was being formed, a storm cloud was brewing that was about to change the world as all in the South knew it. We do no service to history or to our subject by ignoring some realities. It seems probable that John Broadus was a slave owner. Broadus displayed that strange and ironic mix of many Virginia Southerners of his time. Like Robert E Lee, he owned slaved and yet longed for the day when he would no more. He was no defender of the institution of slavery. He even wrote a rather favorable review of Uncle Tom’s Cabin to his wife in which he said: “It is exceedingly well written, having some passages of rarely equaled power, and being altogether, as a far as I can judge, a very remarkable book.” Broadus had no desire to see the Union dissolved but he also reflected the sentiments of many Southerners toward Abraham Lincoln. He knew that if Lincoln was elected as President of the United States that South Carolina would surely succeed and Virginia would be soon to follow suit.

War did come and it nearly ended the life of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary before it even began. Though not officially a chaplain, Broadus traveled many miles preaching to the Confederate troops. Stonewall Jackson personally sought him out to preach to his army. Through a mutual friend General Jackson wrote, “Tell him that he never had a better opportunity of preaching the gospel than he would have right now in these camps.” Throughout the summer and fall, Broadus preached to the Army of North Virginia with Robert. E. Lee and his generals in attendance on many occasions.
At last the war was over but one could hardly say that things returned to normal. Civilization as the South had known had ceased to exist. The economy was ruined, outside forces ruled the political scene, and people in general had little will to rebuild their lives and fortunes. It seemed that the future held little for this devastated land. The seminary was in no better shape. Could the founders of the school even hope for its reopening? When Broadus, Boyce and the others met, discussion turned to the possibility of not even reopening. To that Broadus replied, “Suppose we quietly agree that the Seminary may die, but we’ll die first.” Finally the Seminary relocated in Louisville, Kentucky and slowly grew until it was a viable theological institution.

In 1870 Broadus published his book, On the Preparation and Deliver of Sermon. That work became an almost instant classic and is used to this day as primer on homiletics and sermon preparation. That work along with his preaching began to broaden the horizons of John A. Broadus. Christians in New York had come to know of Broadus and invited him to preach in New York City. Calvary Baptist Church of that city even asked Broadus to come and be their pastor; which he declined. On several occasions the little professor from Virginia shared a meal with Henry Drummond and Dwight L. Moody. He was “Mr. Baptist” in America.

The same year as the publication of his book John D. Rockefeller helped to finance a trip for Broadus to Europe. While in England Broadus visited with Bishop Ellicott, and professors Lighfoot, Westcott, and Hort. During this trip Broadus also had opportunity to attend The Metropolitan Tabernacle and hear Charles Spurgeon preach. On his return to the States there was much work to be done at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Though things were better in Louisville than Greenville it was still a struggle. Finances ran low often and the professors were overworked with the immensity of the task. Many seminaries were going the way of modernism and that influence even touched their faculty.

John Broadus had friends among many denominations but he was thoroughly Baptist. A pamphlet published by the American Baptist Publication Society called The Duty of Baptists to Teach Their Distinctive Views, illustrates this fact. Broadus makes the point in that pamphlet that a Baptist preacher should not avoid standing strongly for distinctively Baptist doctrines. He argues that too many have shied away from such preaching because of the accesses of a few. While thoroughly evangelistic, Broadus had no problem in defending the doctrines of grace. He wrote: "The people who sneer at what is called Calvinism might as well sneer at Mont Blanc. We are not in the least bound to defend all of Calvin's opinions or actions, but I do not see how any one who really understands the Greek of the Apostle Paul or the Latin of Calvin and Turretin can fail to see that these latter did but interpret and formulate substantially what the former teaches." Doctrine is important to every age of the church. That is why Broadus said, “Brethren, we must preach the doctrines; we must emphasize the doctrines; we must go back to the doctrines. I fear that the new generation does not know the doctrines as our fathers knew them.”

Broadus had a high regard for the Bible. Edwin C. Dargan, who himself wrote a history of preaching, wrote that Broadus had a “profound personal belief in the divine inspiration and authority of the Bible … his reverence for the word of God was one of the deepest feelings of his nature.” That high view of the Bible gives a desire to interpret correctly. One of his maxims was “Be willing to let the Scripture mean what it wants to mean.”

Though he was a premiere theologian, Broadus was first and foremost a preacher of the Gospel. He wrote: “In every age of Christianity, since John the Baptist drew crowds into the desert, there has been no great religious movement, no restoration of Scripture truth, and reanimation of genuine piety, without new power in preaching, both as cause and as effect.” Broadus was constantly teaching his students to realize the importance of preaching.

On March 16th, 1895, God called his faithful servant, John A. Broadus, home to his final reward. It is hard to estimate the significance of the preacher’s life on Baptists around the world. Just three years earlier Broadus’ great counterpart, Charles Spurgeon had gone on to be with the Lord and now Broadus’ life was stilled as well. There can be little doubt that the two of them stand as the most powerful force among Baptists in the last 200 years. When Thomas Armitage published his HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS in 1887, he placed an embossed portrait of John A. Broadus on the cover as the representative Baptist. No Baptist in America in the 19th century was held in higher esteem than Broadus, and rightly so.

It is said that Spurgeon pronounced Broadus as the “greatest of living preachers.” Had he occupied the pulpit of a church in New York City he may have been remembered that way. Instead, Broadus dedicated his life to instilling the passion of deep, Biblical, doctrinal, and vibrant preaching into the hearts of a generation of Baptist preachers who helped to change the world. Perhaps Broadus has already heard those words in heaven, “Howdy, John? thankee John.”
 

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Date: 01 Feb 2010
Time: 11:35:03

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Thanks for the detailed bio. It needs to be edited for spelling and usuage however. Homonyms in several instances.
e.g. "accesses" where word should be "Excesses".

 

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