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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

Parousia / Presence
Epipheneia & Apokalypsis

"The Indwelling of the Spirit" | "Jesus in your heart" | "God with us"


"Armageddon Now" Theology & Christian Zionist Politics
Pro-Dispensationalism | Dispensationalist Dementia

FOR QUESTIONS ON WHETHER EXPLORING THESE ISSUES IS ANTI-SEMITISM, REFER TO THE "ANTISEMITISM" ARCHIVE

STUDY ARCHIVES: Amillennialism | Apocalyptic | Christian Zionism | Dispensationalism | Eschatology | Hermeneutics | Historicism | Idealism | Millennial Reign of Christ | Preterism | New Covenant Theology | Postmillennialism | Premillennialism | Pre-Tribulational Rapture | Reconstructionism | "Seventy Weeks" | Parousia | Universalism | J.N. Darby | Jerry Falwell | Thomas Ice | Tim LaHaye | Hal Lindsey | C.I. Scofield | Jack and Rexella Van ImpeJohn F. Walvoord | Christian Zionism and Salvation for the Jews | Philip Mauro: The Gospel of the Kingdom & The Hope of Israel

Are you a Christian Zionist?  Take the litmus test: "Do you believe that the modern state of Israel is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy?"
Christian Zionism: The Tragedy and The Turning | How Evangelicals Became Israel's Best Friend


  • 2/13/12: Scripture in light of "1st century history": Does studying Eschatology for yourself really Matter? "doubt about the imminence of the Lord’s return is increasingly mixed with them until around the middle of the second century when the Shepherd of Hermas thinks he has found a solution and expresses it with great thoroughness and emphasis: the Parousia-the Lord’s return-has been postponed for the sake of Christians them selves. The building of the tower has not been stopped"

  • G.L. White - Homiletic Review - The Parousia of Christ (1905) "A few years ago, having occasion to make a special study of the parousia, and not finding myself in accord with traditional teachings with regard to it, I turned to my Greek New Testament, with the result that, tho at the time unacquainted with the views of the men just mentioned, I came to hold substantially the same ideas relative to the parousia that these men held." (Lightfoot, Owen, Hammond, Warren, Russell)
     

Matthew 24:3

sign of thy coming

parousia

N-GSF

Matthew 24:27

coming of the Son

parousia

N-NSF

Matthew 24:37

coming of the Son

parousia

N-NSF

Matthew 24:39

coming of the Son

parousia

N-NSF

1 Corinthians 15:23

Christ’s at his coming

parousia

N-DSF

1 Corinthians 16:17

glad of the coming of Stephanas

parousia

N-DSF

2 Corinthians 7:6

by the coming of Titus

parousia

N-DSF

2 Corinthians 7:7

not by his coming only

parousia

N-DSF

2 Corinthians 10:10

his bodily presence

parousia

N-NSF

Philippians 1:26

my coming to you again

parousias

N-GSF

Philippians 2:12

in my presence

parousia

N-DSF

1 Thessalonians 2:19

Christ at his coming

parousia

N-DSF

1 Thessalonians 3:13

at the coming of our Lord Jesus

parousia

N-DSF

1 Thessalonians 4:15

remain unto the coming of the Lord

parousian

N-ASF

1 Thessalonians 5:23

unto the coming of our Lord

parousia

N-DSF

2 Thessalonians 2:1

the coming of our Lord

parousias

N-GSF

2 Thessalonians 2:8

brightness of his coming

parousias

N-GSF

2 Thessalonians 2:9

whose coming is after …

parousia

N-NSF

James 5:7

unto the coming of the Lord

parousias

N-GSF

James 5:8

the coming of the Lord draweth nigh

parousia

N-NSF

2 Peter 1:16

the power and coming of our Lord

parousian

N-ASF

2 Peter 3:4

the promise of his coming

parousias

N-GSF

2 Peter 3:12

hasting unto the coming of the day

parousian

N-ASF

1 John 2:28

before him at his coming

parousia

N-DSF

 

Mathates
“…Truly God Himself, Who is almighty, the Creator of all things, and invisible, has sent from heaven, and placed among men, the Truth, and the holy and incomprehensible Word, and has firmly established Him in their hearts…” (The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, chapter 7) (c. A.D. 130-200)

 

John Owen
"No heart can conceive that treasury of mercies which lies in this one privilege, in having liberty and ability to approach unto God at all times, according to His mind and will."

Men love to trust God (as they profess) for what they have in their hands, in possession, or what lies in an easy view; place their desires afar off, carry their accomplishment behind the clouds out of their sight, interpose difficulties and perplexities -- their hearts are instantly sick. They cannot wait for God; they do not trust Him, nor ever did. Would you have the presence of God with you? Learn to wait quietly for the salvation you expect from Him."

J.A.T. Robinson
"Coming - presence" (Parousia) of Christ should not be seen as future events, but as a symbolical mythological presentation of "...what must happen, and is happening already, whenever the Christ comes in love and power, whenever are to be traced the signs of His presence, wherever to be seen the marks of His cross. `Judgement DAY' is a dramatized idealized picture of everyday" (His in the end... Clarke, London, 1950 Pg. 69). Again I will quote the words of Robinson. "...Did Jesus ever use language which suggested that He would return to earth from heaven? A critical examination of the data leads him to answer `NO'. Jesus' sayings on the subject really express the twin themes of vindication and visitation. e.g. His reply to the high priest's question whether or not He was the Messiah (Mark 14:62+): `1 am: and you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power: and coming with the clouds of heaven'. In Math 26:64 and Lk.22:69 a word or phrase meaning from now on' or 'hereafter' is inserted before `you will see"' (Jesus and His coming - S.C.M., London 1957).

"The parousia is clearly understood, not as a separate catastrophic occurrence, but as a separate pervasion of the daily life of the disciples and the Church.  The coming is an abiding presence." [Jesus and His Coming (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1967), p .176]

William Arnold Stevens
"It is of prime importance for the student of this subject to understand - so often is the case stated otherwise - that Parousia is the New Testament answer to two distinct words, arrival and presence, usually the former; that in most instances these meanings are not interchangable, but that one or the other is required, according to the context; for example, the former in I Cor. 16:17, and the latter in Phil. 2:12" (
An American Commentary on the New Testament (1887), p. 63)

 

Stanley Paher
"Parousia / erchomai in Matthew 24:1 - 25:30 exclusively refers to Jesus as ruler of the kings of the earth coming in judgment in AD70 to execute vengeance against the city of Jerusalem and destroy its temple."

"Verse 27 declares that the coming of the Son of man would be as lightning flash: "For as the lightning cometh forth from the east and is seen even unto the west so shall be the coming of the son of man."  This His presence would be felt all over.  The "coming" is a presence, as in verse 24:3, denoting Jesus' divine visitation, which was fulfilled in the approach of the swift demonstration of power, pointing to the suddenness of events prior to Jerusalem's destruction." (Matthew 24: First Century Fulfillment; Las Vegas, NV: Nevada Publications, p. 78)

 Milton Terry (1898)
"
It remains to notice a few things peculiar to Matthew's report of this discourse of Jesus.  According to his gospel the form of the disciples' question was, "When shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of thy coming (parousia) and of the consummation of the age (sunteleia tou aionos)?"  They seem to have already inferred or assumed that his coming and the consummation of the age would be connected in some way with the desolation of the temple.  The closing words of chap. xxiii were of a nature to imply all this.  If it were not to be, and Jesus knew it, it is inconceivable that he should have confirmed them in such a belief as the language of Matt. xxiv was certainly adapted to do.  What significance, then, are we to attach to the words coming, and consummation of the age?

  The words parousia, commonly translated coming, is so constantly associate, in current dogmatics, with the ultimate goal of human history, that ordinary readers lose sight of its simple meaning in New Testament usage.  The word means presence as opposed to absence.  For example, we read in Phil. ii,12, "So then, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence (en te parousia mou) only, but now much more in my absence (en te apousia mou), work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."  But as the personal presence of any one implies a previous coming, so this word is not improperly rendered coming in many passages, and the verb erchomai, to come, is often employed to denote the appearance and kingdom of Christ. [2]  Bt to assume that this coming or presence of Christ must needs be spectacular in any physical sense, a literal display of his person in the atmosphere of this earth, is to involve the doctrine in great confusion.  Why must the coming of the Son of man on the clouds to execute judgment on that generation be understood or explained in any other way than we explain Jehovah's "riding upon a swift cloud," and coming to execute judgment on Egypt, as prophesied in Isa. xix,1?  Whatever the real nature of the parousia, as contemplated in this prophetic discourse, our Lord unmistakably associates it with [p. 245] the destruction of the temple and city, which he represents as the signal termination of the pre-Messianic age.  The coming on clouds, the darkening of the heavens, the collapse of the elements, are, as we have shown above, familiar forms of apocalyptic language, appropriated from the Hebrew prophets. [3]   That other expression in Matthew, "the consummation of the age," is a phrase that has been much abused and widely misunderstood.   The common translation, "end of the world," has been a delusion to many readers of the English Bible.  It has helped to perpetuate the unscriptural nation that the coming and kingdom of Christ are not facts of the past, present, and future, but of the future only.  The fundamental and distinguishing doctrine of all branches of the "Adventists," so-called, is that the coming of the Son of man to set up his kingdom is this world is solely an event of the future.  Christ has as yet no kingdom among men!  Even the parables of our Lord, illustrative of the spiritual character of the kingdom, are forced to harmonize with the concept of a spectacular advent and a political organization.  [4]  Those who maintain the doctrine, and, indeed, not a few who oppose it, fall into error and inconsistency by failing to apprehend the true meaning of the phrase "the end of the age."

  For, first of all, they do not determine clearly what age (aion) is contemplated in such a text as Matt. xxiv,3.  They quite generally assume that the period of the Gospel dispensation is meant.  But nothing is more familiar in the Jewish terminology of our Lord's time than the current phrases this age and the age to come.  The period which preceded the coming of the Messiah [p. 246]was spoken of as this age; that which followed his coming was the age to come.[5]  It is not important to consider what various and often contradictory notions the rabbins associated with the age to come.  Their notions were as various as those concerning the character of the Messiah himself.  But by this age they meant and could mean nothing else than the current period in which they were living, the then present age.  The question of the disciples, as recorded, could therefore only refer to the pre-Messianic age, and its consummation was, as we have seen, associated in their thought with the overthrow of the temple.  But even were it admitted that their nation of the "consummation of the age" was erroneous, the teaching of Jesus was emphatic beyond all rational question that that generation should not pass away before all those things of which they inquired should be fulfilled.

  The age to come, the Messianic time, would accordingly be the period that would follow immediately after the termination of the pre-Messianic age. that time had not yet come when Jesus spoke.  According to the whole trend of New Testament teaching that age and the Messianic kingdom were near or at hand.  Christ's ministry fell in the last days of an aion.  The gospel of his kingdom must be firmly established in the world before the end of that age.  The gospel of his kingdom must be firmly established in the world before the end of that age. So we read, in Heb. ix, 26: "Now, once, at the end of the ages (epi sunteleia ton aionon) hath he been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."  Also in Heb. i, 1, it is written: "God...hath at the last of these days spoken unto us in his Son."  Similarly Peter (1 Pet. i, 20) speaks of Christ as "foreknown before the foundation of the world, but manifested at the end of the times for your sake."  Paul, too, speaks of himself as living near the consummation of an age: "These things happened unto them by way of example; and they were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the ages are come" (1 Cor. x,11)  The ministry both of Jesus and his disciples must, therefore, be recognized as occurring in the latter days of an aion, or near the end of the pre-Messianic age. The New Testament writers, as well as Jesus, are clear on this point.  They never represent themselves as already entered upon the first days, or the beginning of the age, but rather in the last days.   If, now, we ask with the disciples, WHEN shall these things be? or at what point are we to recognize the end of the pre-Messianic age? we are to find the answer in the eschatological discourse of [p. 248] Jesus, and at some point before that generation passed away.  "The ends of the ages" may have a definite point of contact and transition from one age to another.  The coming age may, like the morning twilight, cast its beams into the foregoing night, and so the preceding age may partake in its last days of many things which belong to the age to come. [6] But such facts do not affect the question of the signal crisis which may conspicuously mark the end of one age and the opening of another.  Was there such a crisis between the Jewish and Christian dispensations, that we can point to it and say, "That was preeminently and conspicuously an event which marked an epoch in the history of both Judaism and Christianity?"

  Some writers find such a crisis or end in the crucifixion of Jesus, and the moment when he said, "It is finished."  (tetelestai).  Others say it was at the resurrection; some few designate the ascension; but many have taught that the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost was the coming of Christ in his kingdom, the end of the old and the beginning o the new age.  To all of these theories there are two insuperable objections: (1) They are irreconcilable with the statement of Jesus that the Gospel must first be preached "in all the habitable earth" (oikonmene), and (2), long after the day o f Pentecost, the apostles speak of their work as taking place in the last days, or near the end of the age.

  Is it not strange that any careful student of our Lord's teaching should fail to understand his answer to this very question?  The disciples asked, definitely, WHEN shall it be?  And Jesus proceeded to foretell a variety of things which they would live to see - all preliminary to the end.  He foretold the horrors of the siege of Jerusalem, and an intelligible sign by which they might know the imminence of the final catastrophe of Judaism.  And having told them of all these things, and of his own coming in the clouds and its glorious significance, he added: "When ye see these things coming to pass, know that it is nigh, at the door.  Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away until all these things be accomplished."  The ruin of the temple was, accordingly, the crisis which marked the end of the pre-Messianic age. [p. 249]   Matthew's gospel appends to the eschatological discourse three parables of admonition, which occupy the whole of the twenty-fifth chapter.  The parable of the ten virgins and the picture of the judgment are peculiar to this gospel, but the parable of the talents appears to be in substance identical with that of the pounds (mnas, minas)  in Luke xix, 11-27.  The three parables as they stand in Matthew, whether originally uttered in this connection or not, are every way appropriate to the context.  They are admonitions to watch and be ready for the coming of the Lord, and are not essentially different from the counsels already noticed in the fourth section of the preceding discourse (for example, Matt. xxiv, 32-51).  The lesson of the parable of the virgins is, "Watch, therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour."  The great lesson of the parable of the talents is that the Lord's servants have also something more to do than merely to watch.  They must be diligently employed in the service and interests of their owner during his temporary absence from them, whether the time be long or short.  There is, then, no difficulty as to the import of these parables, and no question as to their relevancy to the subject of which Jesus spoke on the Mount of Olives.

  Greater difficulty is supposed to attach to the sublime picture of Judgment recorded in Matt. xxv.31-46, and most expositors have thought that the picture must needs refer to a general and formal judgment of all nations of men at the conclusion of human history.  But the language of Matthew is explicit in referring it to the time "when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him," and when "he shall sit on the throne of his glory."  There would be obvious inconsistency in making this coming of the Son of man different from that of matt. xxiv, 30, and xvi, 27,28.  How, then, it is asked, can this sublime ideal be brought within the time-limits of the prophecy of matt. xxiv?

  The difficulties which are here suggested arise either from the assumptions of a literalizing exegesis or from a failure to keep in mind that the coming and kingdom of Christ are in their nature a process, which has definite historical beginning, but stretches on indefinitely into future ages of ages.  Consequently, while most of the things enumerated in the foregoing discourse had fulfillment in the fall of Judaism and the beginning of Christianity, other things, from their very nature, are such as must needs be of repeated or continual occurrence.  Such especially is the execution of judgment, a function of every reigning king.  The scriptural doctrine of Messiah's reign is not that God, the father Almighty, vacates his throne at the accession of Christ.  Neither the concept of Psalm ii, [p. 250] 7-9, nor Psalm cx, nor Dan. vii, 13,14, implies that the eternal God is any less the ruler and sovereign of the world after he sets his anointed Son at his right hand, and "gives him dominion and glory and a kingdom."  From thence onward he judges the world by Jesus Christ, and the sublime picture of Matt. xxv, 31-46, is a parable of this great fact.  Hence the force and propriety of the words: When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory."  But how long he shall continue to sit thus on his glorious throne of judgment - how long "he must reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet" - is not a matter of specific revelation.  The ideal of judgment presented in Matt. xxv, 31-46, is therefore no single event, like the destruction of Jerusalem.  It is not to be explained literally as a formal assize not to open until the end of human history on earth.  It is, rather, a most impressive parabolic picture of the age-long administration of Jesus Christ, form the hour of the signal overthrow of Jerusalem until "he shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father"  (1 Cor. xv, 24).  the anointed King of glory is judge of the living as well as of the dead, and it is a grave error to represent "the day of the Lord" or "the day of judgment" as something deferred to the end of time.  We have shown over and over again in the preceding portions of this volume that "the great and terrible day of the Lord " is a prophetic phrase of remarkable fullness of meaning.  The Old Testament doctrine is that "the kingdom is Jehovah's, and he is ruler among the nations" (Psalm xxii, 28).  "Say ye among the nations, Jehovah reigneth; he shall judge the peoples with equity. he cometh, he cometh to judge the earth; he shall judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his truth"  (Psalm xcvi, 10-13.  The day of judgment for any wicked nation, city, or individual is the time when the penal visitation comes; and the judgment of God's saints is manifest in every signal event which magnifies goodness and condemns iniquity.[7] [p. 251]

But this divine administration of the world, which in the Hebrew Scriptures is the work of Jehovah, is portrayed in Dan. vii, 13,14, and represented in the New Testament as committed unto Christ.  The Father has given him "authority to execute judgment because he is Son of man" (John v, 27).  And the Son of man came, in accord with the apocalyptic pic5ture of Dan. vii, 13, and Matt. xxiv, 30, and executed judgment upon Jerusalem, guilty of "all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, form the blood of Able the righteous unto the blood of Zachariah"  (Matt. xxiii, 35,36).  That was the first conspicuous exhibition of his judicial power, and it marked the crisis and end of the pre-Messianic age. Christ is, therefore, now King and Judge; but all things are not yet subjected unto him, and he must reign until he shall have put all things in subjection under his feet. And this no other than the decree,

 Jehovah has said to me, My Son art thou;  I have this day begotten thee.  Ask from me, and I will give nations for thine inheritance,  And for thy possession the ends of the earth

                                                                                                    Psalm ii, 7,8.

   We conclude, then, that the additions peculiar to Matthew's version of our Lord's discourse on the Mount of Olives contain nothing inappropriate to the occasion, and nothing inconsistent with the definite time-limit of the prophecy and the analogy of New Treatment eschatology. [p. 252]

 Notes

(Editor's note: the following notes appeared at the foot of the page where they are cited and should be referenced accordingly.)

[1] "the disciples assume as a matter of course," says Meyer, "that immediately after the destruction in question the Lord will appear, in accordance with what is said in xxiii, 39, for the purpose of setting up his kingdom, and that with this the current (the pre-Messianic) era of the world's history will come to an end." - Critical and Exegetical Handbook on Matthew, in loco.

[2] Comp. Matt xvi, 27,28; xxiv, 30; xxv, 31; John xiv, 3; Rev. 1, 7; xxii, 7.

[3]  Acts i, 11, is often cited to show that Christ's coming must needs be spectacular, "in like manner as ye beheld him going into the heaven."    But (1) in the only other three places where on tropon, what manner, occurs, it points to a general concept rather than the particular form of its actuality.  Thus, in Acts vii, 28, it is not some particular manner in which Moses killed the Egyptian that is notable, but rather the certain fact of it. In 2 Tim. iii, 8, it is likewise the fact of strenuous position in Matt. xxiii, 37, and Luke xiii, 34, it is the general thought of protection rather than the visible manner of a mother bird that is intended.  Again (2), if Jesus did not come in that generation, and immediately after the great tribulation that attended the fall of Jerusalem, his words in Matt. xvi, 27,28, xxiv, 29, and parallel passages are in the highest degree misleading.  (3) To make the one statement of the angel in Acts i, 11, override all the saying of Jesus on the same subject and control their meaning is a very one-sided method of biblical interpretation.  but all the angel's words necessarily mean is that as Jesus has ascended into heaven so he will come from heaven. And this main thought agrees with the language of Jesus and the prophets.

[4]  See, for example, the excursus of Dr. E.R. Craven on the Basileia in the American edition of Lange's Commentary on the Revelation of John, pp. 93-100.

[5] See Schurer, History of Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, English translation, vol. ii, p. 177; Schoettgen, Horae Hebraicae, i,, 1153-1158.

[6] And so we should note that many things which Jesus spoke by way of counsel and admonition are as applicable to one period as another.  The exhortation to watch, which having a special historical motive and force with the disciples, has its abiding lesson as one of the things ever incumbent upon the servants of the heavenly King.  So many particular exhortation and counsels of Old Testament prophets have permanent value.  It is in this way that the scriptures of both Testaments are profitable for instruction in righteousness.

[7] We need not assume to say how far and in what manner Christ executes his judgments or gathers his elect by the ministry of angels.  He who "makes the clouds his chariot, who walks upon the wings of the wind, making his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire" (Psalm civ, 3,4; comp. Heb 1, 7), is present in all the great crises of this world's history, and he makes his angels ministering spirits to serve such as are to inherit salvation (Heb. 1,14).  Our Lord represented Lazarus as carried away (apevexthenai) by the angels into Abraham's bosom (Luke xvi, 22).  But there is no warrant in Scripture for the nation that when the angels are sent forth on missions of mercy or of judgment their operations must needs be visible to mortal eyes.  When the impious Herod Agrippa allowed himself to be honored as a god, "immediately an angel of God smote him, and, becoming eaten of worms, he breathed out his spirit" (Acts xii, 22,23).  Human eyes saw nothing but the curse of a foul disease, or a terrible plague; but Scripture sees back of it the potent ministry of a destroying angel (comp. Exod. xii, 23; 2 Sam. xxiv, 16).  So the visible effects of divine judgment were terribly manifest in the unparalleled miseries of Jerusalem. The righteous blood of unnumbered martyrs was visited upon that generation (Matt. xxiii, 35,36); and where the Jewish historian saw and made record of appalling tribulation and woe the word of prophecy discerned a "revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven, with the angels of his power [personal or natural] in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the Gospel"  (2 Thess. 1, 7,8).  In like manner the King of glory is continually judging and reigning among the nations, and he will not cease from his age-long work until " he shall have abolished all rule and authority and power" (1 Cor. . xv, 24).

 

Preterist Commentaries

William Barclay
"True and genuine worship is when man, through his spirit attains to friendship and intimacy with God. True and genuine worship is not to come to a certain place; it is not to go through a certain ritual or liturgy; it is not even to bring certain gifts. True worship is when the spirit, the immortal and invisible part of man, speaks to and meets with God, who is immortal and invisible." (The Gospel of John) (Vol. 1)

Walter Bauer (1979)
(On Epiphaneia)
"It means a visible manifestation of a hidden divinity, either in the form of a personal appearance, or by some deed of power by which its presence is made known." (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 2nd ed.,  rev. William F. Arndt, F. Wilbur Gingrich, and Fredrick W. Danker (Chicago, IL: U. of Chicago Press, p. 630)

G. Braumann (1976)
"Parousia means, on the one hand, presence (with certain effects following) or (in a more neutral sense) property, fortune, income, military strength; and, on the other hand, it means arrival, someone's coming in order to be present.  Technically, the noun is used for the arrival of a ruler, a king, emperor, ruler, or even troops from the Ptolemaic period to the 2nd century A.D." (Parousia, in the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, p. 2:898)

E.W. Bullinger
" a coming which includes the idea of a permanent dwelling from that coming onwards" (A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament p. 169)

C. Harold Dodd
"The primitive Christians were accustomed to speak, in a language which was older than Christianity, of being "in the Spirit" -- as though Spirit were an ethereal atmosphere surrounding the soul, and breathed in as the body breathes in the air. Paul, too, used this expression, but he placed alongside it a parallel form of words, "in Christ" or "in Christ Jesus". Where we find these words used we are being reminded of the intimate union with Christ which makes the Christian life an eternal life lived in the midst of time. The deeper shade of meaning would often be conveyed to our minds if we translated the phrase "in communion with Christ". But, Paul's Christ mysticism is saved from the introverted individualism of many forms of mysticism by his insistence that communion with Christ is also communion with all who are Christ's." ()

William Law
"All outward power that we exercise in the things about us is but a shadow in comparison of that inward power that resides in our will, imagination, and desires; these communicate with eternity and kindle a life which always reaches either Heaven or hell... Here lies the ground of the great efficacy of prayer, which when it is the prayer of the heart, the prayer of faith, has a kindling and creating power, and forms and transforms the soul into everything that the desire reaches after: it has the key to the Kingdom of Heaven and unlocks all its treasures; it opens, extends and moves that in us which has its being and motion in and with the divine nature. and so it brings us into real union and Communion with God." (An Appeal to All that Doubt)

"Knowledge of God can be fully given to man only in a Person, never in a doctrine. Faith is not the holding of correct doctrine, but personal fellowship with the living God."

Thomas Merton
"We must remember that our experience of union with God, our feeling of His presence, is altogether accidental and secondary. It is only a side effect of His actual presence in our souls, and gives no sure indication of that presence in any case. For God Himself is above all apprehensions and ideas and sensations, however spiritual, that can ever be experienced by the spirit of man in this life." (No Man Is An Island)

J. B. Rotherham's Emphasised Bible Appendix
"In this edition the word parousia is uniformly rendered 'presence' ('coming,' as a representative of this word, being set aside). . . . The sense of 'presence' is so plainly [shown] by the contrast with 'absence' . . . that the question naturally arises,-Why not always so render it?"  ( p. 271)

TDNT (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament) "in the NT the terms [pareimi and parousia] are never used for the coming of Christ in the flesh, and PAROUSIA never has the sense of return. The idea of more than one PAROUSIA is first found only in the later Church . . . A basic requisite for understanding the world of thought of primitive Christianity is that we should fully free ourselves from this notion, which, so far as the NT is concerned, is suspect both philologically and materially" (TDNT 4:865).

Thayer's
"1. presence: 1 Co. xvi. 17; 2Co. x. 10; ...2. the presence of one coming, hence the coming, arrival, advent."

A. W. Tozer
"If faith is the gaze of the heart at God, and if this gaze is but the raising of the inward eyes to meet the all-seeing eyes of God, then it follows that it is one of the easiest things possible to do."

"The interior journey of the soul from the wilds of sin into the enjoyed presence of God is beautiful. Ransomed men need no longer pause in fear to the Holy of Holies. God wills that we should push on into His presence and live our whole life there."

W.E. Vine
"lit., "a presence," para, "with," and ousia, "being" (from eimi, "to be"), denotes both an "arrival" and a consequent "presence with." For instance, in a papyrus letter a lady speaks of the necessity of her parousia in a place in order to attend to matters relating to her property there. Paul speaks of his parousia in Philippi, Phil 2:12 (in contrast to his apousia, "his absence"...Other words denote "the arrival"...Parousia is used to describe the presence of Christ with His disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration, 2Pet. 1:16. When used of the return of Christ, at the rapture of the church, it signifies, not merely his momentary "coming" for His saints, but His presence with them from that moment until His revelation and manifestation to the world. In some passages the word gives prominence to the beginning of that period, the course of the period being implied, 1 Cor. 15:23; 1Thess. 4:15...In some, the course is prominent, Matt. 24:3, 37...in others the conclusion of that period, Matt 24:27..."  ( Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words p. 111)

 

YearVersion Matt 24:27Matt 24:37 Matt 24:39
1534Tyndale New Testament comingcoming coming
1534Joye N.T. comingcoming coming
1611King James Version comingcoming coming
1866Wilson Emphatic Diaglott presencepresence presence
1881Crickmer N.T. presencepresence presence
1884Hanson N.T.  presencepresence presence
1897Rotherham Bible presencepresence presence
1899Grant Bible comingcoming coming
1901Sanders & Kent Abridged Bible comingcoming coming
1903Fenton Bible  presenceadvent appearing
1907Young Bible presencepresence presence
1923Ballentine Riverside N.T. comingcoming coming
1931Concordant Version N.T. presencepresence presence
1932Overbury N.T.  reappearingreappearance reappearance
1937Johannes Greber N.T. reappearingreappearance reappearance
1936Joseph Smith, Inspired Version comingcoming coming
1938Westminster Version N.T. comingcoming coming
1950New World Translation presencepresence presence
1950Moffat Bible arrivalarrival arrival
1956Knox Bible comescomes comes
1956 Moore New Testament arrivalarrival arrival
1956Kleist & Lilly New Testament adventadvent advent
1958Tomanek New Testament presencepresence presence
1958Marshall Interlinear New Testament presencepresence presence
1963Confraternity Bible comingcoming coming

 

Bible Version1 Corinthians 16:17 2 Corinthians 10:10 Philippians 2:121Thess 2:19
New Worldpresence presencepresence presence
King Jamesarrived presencepresence presence
NASBcoming presencepresence presence
New Revised Stan comingpresence presencepresence
New King Jamescoming presencepresence presence
New International arrivedomitted presencepresence
New American  arrivalpresence presentpresence
Rotherhampresence presencepresence presence
American Standard Version 1901 coming/presence presencepresence coming/
presence
New Jerusalemarrived omittedpresent presence
New Englisharrived presenceomitted coming
Good News Bible comingomitted omittedpresence
Revised Standard comingpresence presencecoming
Emphatic Diaglott presencepresence presenceappearing
Confraternitypresence appearancepresence coming
20th Centurycome appearanceomitted coming
Smith/Goodspeed comeomitted omittedpresence
Moffatt Biblearrived omittedpresent presence
Douaypresence appearancepresence coming
Lamsacoming appearancepresence presence
New Berkeleyarrival presenceomitted presence
Williams New Test. comeomitted omittedpresence
Beckcame omittedomitted comes
Amplified comepresence presencepresence
Young's Literal presencepresence presencepresence

 

William Temple
"The life of faith does not earn eternal life: it is eternal life. And Christ is its vehicle."

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
         Descend to us, we pray,
Cast out our sins, and enter in,
         Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
         The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
         Our Lord Emmanuel.
         ... Phillips Brooks
Sun of my soul, Thou Savior dear,
         It is not night if Thou be near;
O may no earth-born cloud arise
         To hide Thee from thy servant's eyes.
         ... John Keble
 

APOCALYPSE (Revelation)

I. The Greek Apokalupsis (apokalupsis) is from the verb Apokalupto (apokalupto), meaning to uncover or unveil, hence Revelation.

II. Is used of Christ’s return.

1 Peter 4:13 " . . .when His glory is revealed, ye may be glad. . ."

1:7 ". . . the trial of your faith . . . found unto praise and honour . . . at the appearing of Jesus."

1:13 ". . . hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

The saints are to await the revelation because the Lord Jesus does not bring to them the fullness of grace until that time.

2 Thess. 1:7 " . . . you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels."

The saints who are troubled.in the tribulation will not have heavenly rest until the revelation.

1 Cor. 1:7 ". . . waiting for the revelation of our Lord. . ."

The saints must keep the gifts in operation (presumably on the earth) until the revelation.

III. The verb Apokalupto is used in Luke 17:30 ". . .even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. . ."

Verse 31 ". . . In that day . . ."

Verse 34 ". . . In that night . . . one shall be taken and the other left."

2 Thess. 2:3 " . . . and that man of sin be revealed. . . ."

2:6 ". . . that he might be revealed in his time. . . ."

2:8 ". . . whom the Lord shall . . . destroy with the brightness of His coming."

The Greek of 2 Thess. 2:8 shows that the destruction of Antichrist takes place at the "Parousia" of the Lord Jesus. The appearance of Antichrist must take place before the "Parousia."

Verse 3 shows Antichrist’s coming as "Apokalupto," while verse 9 shows it as "parousia," demonstrating that they are synonymous terms.

IV. Conclusions.

1. The supposed secret rapture, when one is taken and the other left, is found to be at the Apokalupsis, or at the open revelation of the Lord Jesus in Luke 17:30-37.

2. This revelation of the Lord Jesus is after the revelation of Antichrist in 2 Thess. 2:1-8.

3. This Apokalupsis is seen to be the same event as the Parousia, for the latter word is used in 2 Thess. 2:8 to describe the open revelation of the Lord Jesus.

EPIPHANY (Appearance)

I. The Greek Epiphanea (epiphanea) is from the verb Epiphaino, meaning to shine upon, bring to light, become visible, appear, so this means appearance.

II. It is used of Christ’s first appearance, showing that Epiphanea is not limited in usage to the second coming of Christ. 2 Tim. 1:10 "But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus."

III. It is used of Christ’s return. 1 Tim. 6:14 ". . . keep this commandment . . . until the appearing of our Lord Jesus."

The saints must keep the commands and be blameless until the appearance of Jesus. 2 Tim. 4:1 "I charge thee, therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom." 4:8 ". . . there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day:. . . and . . . unto all them also that love His appearing." Titus 2:13 ". . . Looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing . . . of Christ." 2 Thess. 2:8 ". . . the Lord shall consume with the brightness of His coming."

IV. The verb Phaino (phaino - to appear) is used in Matt. 24:30 "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven. . . ." 24:31 "Then He shall send angels and they shall gather together His elect." Col. 3:4 "When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory." Matt. 24:29, 30 tell when He will appear.

V. Conclusions.

  1. The saints cannot go up previous to the Epiphany.(Titus 2:13 and 1 Tim. 6:14).
  2. The saints are not crowned until the appearance (Epiphany) of the Lord Jesus to set up His kingdom (2 Tim. 4:1, 8; 1 Peter 5:4).
  3. Crowns are for those who love the appearance (Epiphany), not a secret coming (2 Tim. 4:8).
  4. The Sign of the Son of man does not appear till after the tribulation, when the Lord Jesus is seen coming to gather His saints (Matt. 24:39-31; Col. 3:4).

PAROUSIA (Presence, coming)

I. The Greek Parousia (parousia) is from the verb Paremi, meaning to be near, to have come, to be present. The verb is used in Luke 13:1 "There were present at the season some that told of the Galileans." John 11:28 ". . . The Master is come and calleth for thee." Acts 10:21 ". . . Behold I am He Whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?" 1 Cor. 5:3 "For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done. . ."

II. The noun Parousia is defined as

  1. Presence 2 Cor. 10:10 ". . . his bodily presence is weak. . . ." Phil. 2:12 "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence. . ."
  2. Coming--presence of anyone, coming, arrival. 2 Cor. 7:6, 7 ". . .God . . .comforted us by the coming of Titus; and not by His coming only, but by the consolation. . . ." 1 Cor. 16:17 "I am glad of the coming of Stephanus. . . ." Phil. 1:26 "That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again."

III. The coming or presence of Jesus

Matt. 24:3 ". . . What shall be the sign of thy coming. . .?" Answered in 24:29-31. 24:27 ". . . so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. . . ." 24:37 ". . . as days of Noe . . . so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." 24:39 ". . . so shall also the coming of the Son of man be . . . ." 1 Thess. 3:13 ". . . at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, with all His saints." 4:15 ". . . We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep" (cf. . 16, very noisy—not secret). 5:23 ". . . your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Thess. 2:1 ". . . We beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him." 2:8 ". . . the Lord . . . shall destroy with the brightness of His coming." 2:9(of Antichrist)__". . . whose coming is after the working of Satan." James 5:7 ". . . Be patient unto the coming of the Lord." 5:8 ". . . the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." 2 Peter 3:4 "Where is the promise of His coming?" 3:12 "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God." 1:16 ". . . when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of His majesty" (first coming). 1 Cor. 15:23 ". . . afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming." 1 Thess. 2:19 ". . . are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?" 1 John 2:28 "And now, little children, abide in Him that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming."

IV. Conclusions

  • No hint of secrecy in the definition or use of Parousia. Matt. 24:27 says it will be visible.
  • The supposed coming of Jesus for a part of the saints at the Parousia and a later coming with all the saints at the Epiphany is destroyed by 1 Thess. 3:13 "The Parousia with all His saints."
  • Paul makes no distinction between the Parousia and Epiphany. (See 1 Thess. 5:23 and 1 Tim. 6:14).
  • Christ’s Parousia destroyed the Antichrist, so is after the tribulation (2 Thess. 2:1-8).
  • The use of the two words appear and Parousia in 1 John 2:28 are not two events.

 

 

 

 

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