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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


Imminent Return
Bible Prophecy Fulfilled in 1st Century?

im·mi·nence n. The quality or condition of being about to occur; Something about to occur.

“...it is clear that for some reason or other the first generation of Christians did expect his speedy return, and if this impression was not based on his own language, whence could it have come?” 
(Theodore Robinson).

 

Answering-christianity.com
"At first, the Christian community expected an imminent return of Christ .." ("The Ultimate Test of Jesus: Jesus' second coming and 'grace.')

Dr. Louis Berkhof (1933)
"Pentecost marked the beginning of the last days, that is, of the last dispensation.. Clearly the earliest Christians believed that they were living in the last days. (Manual of Christian Doctrine; Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Erdmans Publishing Company, [1933] 1995, p. 346)

 Ernest Best (1972)
"One of the striking features of N.T. belief in the parousia is its nearness." (A Commentary of the First and Second Epistles to the Thessalonians; p. 360)

"There are those like W.G. Kummel, Promise and Fulfillment, pp. 64ff, and G.R. Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Future, London, 1954, pp. 183ff., who argue strongly that Jesus foresaw a period between his own death and the accomplishment of the Kingdom but that this period would not be lengthy and would come within the life-time of his disciples."  (ibid., 350)

Arthur Conan Doyle (1919)
Then comes prophecy, which is a real and yet a fitful and often delusive form of mediumship -- never so delusive as among the early Christians, who seem all to have mistaken the approaching fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple, which they could dimly see, as being the end of the world. This mistake is repeated so often and so clearly that it is really not honest to ignore or deny it." (The Vital Message, p.118)

Dr. Everett Ferguson (1996)
"Early Christians expressed the conviction that they were living in the 'last days' and therefore that the church was the eschatological community."  (The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today, Eerdmans; p. 67-68)

Edward Gibbon (1776)
"In the primitive church, the influence of truth was very powerfully strengthened by an opinion, which, however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity, has not been found agreeable to experience. It was universally believed, that the end of the world, and the kingdom of heaven, were at hand. The near approach of this wonderful event had been predicted by the apostles; the tradition of it was preserved by their earliest disciples, and those who understood in their literal senses the discourse of Christ himself, were obliged to expect the second and glorious coming of the Son of Man in the clouds, before that generation was totally extinguished, which had beheld his humble condition upon earth, and which might still be witness of the calamities of the Jews under Vespasian or Hadrian." (Rise and Fall..., p. 426)

Charles L. Holman (1998)
"The fact that the Synoptic Gospels portray the expectation of an imminent parousia of the Son of man that is rooted in the message of Jesus is undeniable." ("The idea of an Imminent Parousia in the Synoptic Gospels," Studia Biblica et Theologica 3; p. 30)

Tim LaHaye (1998)
"The apostles and first century church universally expected His return in their lifetime, which is why they were so motivated to live holy lives and so dedicated to evangelism and reaching the world for Christ."  ("The Signs of the Times Imply His Coming," in 10 Reasons Why Jesus is Coming Soon: Ten Christian Leaders Share Their Thoughts: Multnomah, p. 191)

Daniel L. Lewis (1998)
"Without question, the New Testament writers concluded that the last days began with the Jesus event." (3 Crucial Questions about the Last Days (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. Erdmans Publishing Company, [1933] 1995, p. 346)

 Leon Morris (1984)
"They are surely wrong who affirm that Paul thought of the parousia as imminent in his early years, but that the idea faded in later life.  Much later he still thought of the Lord's coming as at hand (Phil. 4:5; cf. 1 Cor. 16:22)."  (1 and 2 Thessalonians, MI: Eerdmans, 1984, p. 94)

John Murray
Rom 13:11-12
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

"It is often claimed that the apostle, like other New Testament writers, expected the advent of Christ within a short time and that this expectation was reproduced in his teaching in the form of affirmation to that effect (cf. 1 Cor 7:29-31)."

Joseph Plevnik (1997)
"Paul expected the Lord to come soon; his statement that "we shall not die" suggests this.  And he clearly states in 1 Cor 7:29,31 that "the appointed time has grown short" and that "the present form of this world is passing away.   As 1 Cor. 7:25-31 clearly shows, Paul is convinced that he is living in the last generation on earth." (Paul and the Parousia: An Exegetical and Theological Investigation; Hendrickson; p. 158-159)

"To Paul's thinking, the parousia has not receded into the distant future; he keeps on talking about the near approach of the end.  In Phil 4:5 he asserts, "The Lord is near (ho kyrios engys)," and in Rom 13:11-12 he states, "Salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near."  (ibid., 159-160)

"How close is the parousia, according to Paul?  As G. Klein observes, the first person plural in 1 Thess 4:15,17 indicates that he thinks he will live to see the Lord's coming."  (ibid., 278)

F.W. Robertson
"In the first centuries the early Christians believed that the millennial advent was close; they heard the warning of the apostle, brief and sharp, “The time is short.” " (Sermon on the Illusiveness of Life.)

Neal Robinson (1991)
"The first generation of Christians were convinced that Jesus would shortly return in glory." [Christ in Islam and Christianity (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991), 78.]

Theodore Robinson
“...it is clear that for some reason or other the first generation of Christians did expect his speedy return, and if this impression was not based on his own language, whence could it have come?” (The Gospel of Matthew, p. 195).

D.S. Russell (1964)
"the apocalyptist, like the prophet, 'foretold' the purpose of God in his exposition of predictive prophecy. But is there here anything to compare with the  prophetic 'forth-telling' in which he declares God's message, not for some far-off distant time, but for that very day and hour? At first sight no such comparison is at all obvious; the apocalyptist's utterances are so often couched in terms of the forecasting of the end. Such a judgement, however, is only an illusion brought about by the curious device of pseudonymity which gives the reader the impression of 'prediction proper' rather than of 'history in the guise of prediction'. This device should not blind us to the fact that, from the point of view of the apocalyptic writers and indeed from the point of view of the original readers, the End was not in some far off time but was imminent": The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic, (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1964,, 99."

Stephen S. Smalley (1964)
"In the earlier Pauline epistles, I and II Thessalonians, the parousia seems to be expected in Paul's own lifetime (I Thess 2:19); it is associated with the "day of the Lord," which is felt to be "at hand" (5:2). Quite clearly, whatever Paul expected, he expected it to happen soon, and no doubt within his own lifetime." ("The Delay of the Parousia," Journal of Biblical Literature 83; p. 48)

Dr. James D. Tabor
"There is absolutely clear evidence running through the New Testament documents that the early followers of Jesus (Nazarenes) were convinced that they were living very close to the end of the Age. They expected the "Parousia" (arrival) of the Messiah within the span of their generation. This apocalyptic hope was largely based on the preaching of Jesus himself that the "Kingdom of God was at hand," as well as a general understanding of the prophecies of the book of Daniel, especially chapters 9 and 11." ("Christian Origins and the New Testament")

Phil Ware (1979)
"Modern theologians raise the question "Did Paul expect the Parousia in his lifetime?"  On the basis of such passages as 1 Corinthians 7:26; 15:51; Romans 13:11 ff and 1 Thessalonians 4:15,17 most scholars answer with a resounding "Yes!" ("The Coming of the Lord: Eschatology and 1 Thessalonians," Restoration Quarterly 22; p. 117)

"For them the Parousia was to happen soon, in their immediate future.  This emphasis is felt even in Paul's letter: 1:10; 3:13; 5:2, 23; esp. the use of present tense in 1:10; 5:2.  The Parousia was an event on the way."  (ibid., 113)

Professor Bernhard Weiss
"It is perfectly useless by exegetical and critical means to get rid of the fact that Jesus had promised His return to the generation of His day." (The Religion of the New Testament, pg 70)
 

 

Eusebius (A.D.312)
And while this can be found in many prophecies, which say as it were to Christ Himself: "Behold, I have set thee for a light to the Gentiles, for a covenant of thy race," it is especially obvious in the words of Balaam, when he says: "A man shall come from his seed, and shall rule many nations." Whose seed but Israel's, as the context shews? And thus our Saviour, the Word, as the prophecy foretold, ruling over the nations threw down the invisible noxious powers which had governed them so long, the spirits of evil, and the band of daemons, called figuratively here the princes of Moab, Seth, Edom, and (421) Esau.

The words: "I will point to him, but not now, I bless him but he draws not near," which are obscure in the Septuagint, are more clearly rendered by Aquila: "I shall  see him, but not now; I expect him, but he is not near." And Symmachus more plainly still says: "I see him but not near." Balaam would speak thus of things revealed to him that would be accomplished a very long time after (b) his own days. And so at the conclusion of two thousand years after his prediction they were fulfilled in our Saviour's Coming among men. " (Demonstratio Evangelica (Proof of the Gospel)BOOK IX)

 

Henry Alford (1868)
"The apostle for the most part wrote and spoke of it (the coming of the Lord) as soon to appear, not however without many and sufficient hints, furnished by the Spirit, of an interval, and that no short one, first to elapse." (Quoted in
The Parousia)

‘It would not be clear from this passage alone whether St. Peter regarded the coming of the Lord as likely to occur in the life of these his readers or not; but as interpreted by the analogy of his other expressions on the same subject, it would appear that he did."  (Quoted in The Parousia)

Johann Bengel (1742)
‘From such passages as this we see that the apostolic age maintained that which ought to be the attitude of all ages,---constant expectation of the Lord’s return." (Quoted in The Parousia)

G.C. Berkouwer (1972)
"Consistent Eschatology sees the expectation of the coming of the Kingdom within the first generation of believers as the heart and soul of the early church. Clearly we cannot simply ignore this view of eschatology.. we are obligated to deal with the accented nearness of the Kingdom found in the New Testament. We read there that the end of all things is at hand; that the believer is to be sane and sober (1 Pet. 4:7); that the Lord is at hand (Phil. 4:5); that the judge is standing at the door (James 5:8,9); that the time is near (Rev. 1:3). These passages have constantly presented problems for New Testament preaching. What does the New Testament mean by the last days, the last hour? What does it mean when it says that "the night is far gone, the day is at hand" (Rom. 13:12)? In what sense has the end of the ages come upon the community of believers (1 Cor. 10:11)? How are Paul's words to be explained when he says that God will soon (en tachei) crush Satan (Rom 16:20)?" (The Return of Christ p. 82)

Coneybeare and Howson  (1835)
"This phrase (e s c a t a i z h m e r a i z , used without the article, as having become a familiar expression) generally denotes the termination of the Mosaic dispensation. (See Acts ii. 17; 1 Pet. i. 5, 20; Heb. i. 2.) Thus the expression generally denotes (in the apostolic age) the time present; but here it points to a future immediately at hand, which is, however, blended with the present (see vers. 6, 8), and was in fact the end of the apostolic age. (Compare 1 John ii. 18, ‘It is the last hour.’) The long duration of this last period of the world’s development was not revealed to the apostles: they expected that their Lord’s return would end it, in their own generation; and thus His words were fulfilled, that none should foresee the time of His coming." (Quoted in The Parousia)

 

J.S. Russell  (1878)
"Strange that the plainest, strongest, most oft-repeated affirmations of his faith and hope by St. Paul should produce in the mind of a reader so faint an impression of his convictions as this. But there is not faltering in the declaration of the apostle; it is no peradventure that he utters; it is with a firm and confident tone that he raises the exulting cry, ‘The Lord is at hand.’ He does not express his own surmises, or hopes, or longings, but delivers the message with which he was charged, and, as a faithful witness for Christ, everywhere proclaims the speedy coming of the Lord."

"This imminency of the Parousia explains the fervour with which the apostle urges Timothy to put forth every effort in discharging the duties of his office: ‘Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.’ These injunctions are sometimes employed to set forth the normal intensity and urgency with which the pastoral function should be discharged (and we do not condemn the application); but it is plain that St. Paul is not speaking of ordinary times and ordinary efforts. It is the agony of a tremendous crisis; the time is short; it is now or never; victory or death. These are not the common-place phrases about the diligent discharge of duty, but the alarm of the sentinel who sees the enemy at the gates, and blows the trumpet to warn the city." (The Parousia)

 

FUTURIST PERSPECTIVES

Arthur Conan Doyle (1919)
Then comes prophecy, which is a real and yet a fitful and often delusive form of mediumship -- never so delusive as among the early Christians, who seem all to have mistaken the approaching fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple, which they could dimly see, as being the end of the world. This mistake is repeated so often and so clearly that it is really not honest to ignore or deny it." (The Vital Message, p.118)

Dr. Ellicot
"It may, perhaps, be admitted that the sacred writers have used language in reference to the Lord’s return which seems to show that the longings of hope had almost become the convictions of belief." (Quoted in The Parousia)

Thomas Ice
"A person cannot legitimately say that an imminent event will happen soon. The term 'soon' implies that an event must take place 'within a short time (after a particular point of time specified or implied).' By contrast, an imminent event may take place within a short time, but it does not have to do so in order to be imminent. As I hope you can see by now, 'imminent' is not equal to 'soon.'"

This definition is bogus and simply pulled out of the air. It's not found in the Bible or any dictionary that I know of. - Ice's Definition of Imminency

H. J. Schoeps (1961)
"It is undeniable that Paul, with the whole of primitive Christianity, erred about the imminently expected parousia." (The Theology of the Apostle in the Light of Jewish Religious History, p. 46)

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