"And it was revealed
unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he
had seen the Lord's Christ." Luke 2:26
..SOME STANDING HERE..
son of man shall come in the glory of his father... There be
some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the
son of man coming in his kingdom"
Matthew 16:28 A Time
Statement for What? |
16:27-28 is NOT a "Preterist Time Indicator" |
Preterism and Matthew 16:28
"we can now understand what
Jesus meant when he spoke of his parousia as of an event which some
of his contemporaries would experience (Matthew 10:23, 16:28, John
21:22): he was referring on these occasions to the fall of
Jerusalem." (Quoting T. Zahn, Jesus and the Future, p.
"..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).
(This refers) "to the destruction of Jerusalem
and the full manifestation of the kingdom of Christ by the
annihilation of the Jewish polity." (in loc.)
Oswald T. Allis
"Here there is no room for doubt as to the
meaning of the expression which describes those who are to witness
the coming. It concerns some of those alive and present when the
words were uttered. They are to witness the coming. Consequently, we
may say with positiveness, that this coming must have taken place
during the lifetime of the apostle John. The claim that these words
of Jesus referred to the transfiguration is plainly inadequate. That
event was too near at hand (about a week distant) to make the fact
that some of Jesus' immediate followers would live to see it a
sufficiently important matter to mention. The coming referred to
seems most likely to be the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, at
which time there was so far as we know no visible appearance of
Christ." (Prophecy and the Church (Phillipsburg: The
Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1947, p 177)
Albert Barnes (1832)
"This generation, &c. - This age; this race of men. A generation is about thirty of forty years. The destruction of Jerusalem took place about forty years after this was spoken. See Notes on Mat. 16:28." (Notes,
John Broadus (1886)
"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).
Matthew 16:28 "This was fulfilled in his resurrection which was as an entrie into his kingdome, and was also confirmed by sending the holie Gost, whereby he wroght so great and sondrie miracles."
"Then this coming of God's dominion cannot refer to our
Lord's resurrection, nor to the gift of the Holy Spirit which were to be
realized within the year.... Nor can it refer to our Lord's coming in
judgment which is yet even now in abeyance.. Nor can the powerful
spread of the gospel be meant, for this already came about within
comparatively few years.. We shall have to think of the destruction of
Jerusalem.. In it God revealed his kingly dominion in his judgment, a
precursor of his judgment of the last day. " (Het heilig Evangelie naar
de beschrijving van Lukas, 1:424)
"Till the Son of man be come. A reference primarily, no doubt, to the Lord coming into his kingdom. See #Mt 16:28. He was thus to come in the life time of some of the apostles. He did thus come in the establishment of his kingdom in power on the day of Pentecost. He also came in judgment on the Jews at the destruction of Jerusalem. This event ended Jewish persecution. There is also the final coming to judge the world, but the meaning here does not include that." (in loc.)
Peter Lange (1857)
'emphatically placed at the beginning of the
sentence; not a simple future, but meaning, The event is impending
that He shall come; He is about to come.' (in loc.)
"After much deliberation, whether
the coming of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, or
the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans,
was the Second Coming of the Son of God, Mr. Mauro
finally made his choice and decided that the
destruction of Jerusalem was
the Coming of the Lord and that it fulfilled the definite and precise
promise recorded by Matthew: —Verily I say
unto you, that there be some standing
here, which shall not taste of death, till
they see the Son of Man coming in His
kingdom.“ (Matthew 16:28)" -
The Kingdom of God: What, When, Where? (PDF) - An Answer to Mauro's
Gospel of the Kingdom
"Verse 28 adds, with His solemn 'verily,' a
confirmation of this announcement of His coming to judge. The
question of what event is referred to may best be answered by noting
that it must be one sufficiently far off from the moment of speaking
to allow of the death of the greater number of His hearers, and
sufficiently near to allow of the survival of some; that it must
also be an event, after which these survivors would go the common
road into the grave; that it is apparently distinguished from His
coming 'in the glory of the Father,' and yet is of such a nature as
to afford convincing proof of the establishment of His kingdom on
earth, and to be, in some sort, a sign of that final act of
judgment. All these requirements (and they are all the fair
inferences from the words) meet only in the destruction of
Jerusalem, and of the national life of the chosen people. That was a
crash of which we faintly realise the tremendous significance. It
swept away the last remnant of the hope that Israel was to be the
kingdom of the Messiah; and from out of the dust and chaos of that
fall the Christian Church emerged, manifestly destined for
world-wide extension. It was a 'great and terrible day of the Lord,'
and, as such, was a precursor and a prophecy of the day of the Lord,
when He 'shall come in the glory of the Father,' and 'render unto
every man according to his deeds.'" (Exposition of Holy Scriptures,
Thomas Newton (1754)
"'The coming of Christ' is also the same period with the destruction of Jerusalem, as may appear from several places in the Gospels, and particularly from these two passages; 'There are some standing here,' saith our blessed Lord, 'who shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom,' Matt xvi. 28, that is, evidently, there are some standing here who shall live, not till they end of the world, to the coming of Christ to judge mankind, but till the destruction of Jerusalem, to the coming of Christ in judgment upon the Jews. In another place, John xxi.22, speaking to Peter concerning John, he saith, 'If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?' what is that to thee, if I will that he live till the destruction of Jerusalem? as in truth he did, and long. 'The coming of Christ,' and 'the conclusion of the age,' being therefore only different expressions to denote the same period with the destruction of Jerusalem, the purpose of the question plainly is, when shall the destruction of Jerusalem be, and what shall be the signs of it?'" (Newton, p. 374)
C. Jonathan Seraiah
"It is true that the "eschatology" of the New Testament is predominantly preterist. For those unfamiliar with the preterist perspective, it is the ancient view that many of the eschatological passages of the New Testament were fulfilled (completely) in the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. This view may sound novel, but in reality there have been orthodox adherents to it throughout church history (e.g., Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius, John Lightfoot, John Owen, Milton Terry,
Jay Adams). This interpretation does not deny the Final Coming of Christ; it merely finds that not all "coming" passages refer to that event. The preterist interpretation is actually the most faithful to the biblical text because it recognizes that Old Testament prophetic terminology was used by the New Testament authors. This recognition is helpful in distinguishing the prophecies of Christ's coming that were near, in the first century (Matt. 10:23; 16:28; 24:30; 26:64; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Thess. 1:7; James 5:7-9; 1 Pet. 4:7; Rev. 1:3, 7; etc.) and thus fulfilled in a.d. 70, from those that were far (John 5:28-29;
Acts 1:11; 17:31; 1 Cor. 15:23-24; 1 Thess. 4:16; 1 Jn. 3:2; etc.) and thus not yet fulfilled even in our day. It also helps to distinguish between a spiritual "coming" (invisible for temporal judgment, as in a.d. 70) and a physical coming (visible for eternal judgment)." (End of All Things)
R.C. Sproul (1998)
"If the Olivet Discourse refers primarily to events surrounding
the destruction of Jerusalem and if the word generation refers to a
forty-year period, then it is possible, if not probable, that Jesus'
reference to his coming in Matthew 16:28 refers to the same events,
not to the transfiguration or other close-at-hand events." (The
Last Days According to Jesus, p. 55)
"If a child were to read this passage I know what he would
think it meant: he would suppose Jesus Christ was to come, and there were
some standing there who should not taste death until really and literally he
did come. This, I believe, is the plain meaning." ("An Awful
Premonition" in 12 Sermons on the Second Coming of Christ - Grand
Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1976, 5)
"[Isaiah 65 refers] to the destruction of Jerusalem
and the Jewish polity; which in the Gospel is called the coming of
Christ and the days of vengeance, Matthew 16:28; Luke 21:22."
(Isaiah 65, p. 513)
"If we maintain that the event Jesus is describing is still in
our future, then how should we interpret His statement that some of
those with whom He was speaking would still be alive when He did in
fact 'come in the glory of His Father with His angels'?" (Last
Days Madness, p. 43)
"In Mark 9:1 Jesus promises that some of his hearers would not
"taste of death" before witnessing the "coming of the
kingdom with power." This almost certainly refers to the
destruction of the temple at the behest of Christ..." (Before
Jerusalem Fell, p. lii)
"V.28. Coming in his kingdome.
The nearness of this to the story of Christ's Transfiguration, makes
it probable to many, that this coming of Christ is that
Transfiguration of his, but that cannot be, because the 27th ver. of
the Son of mans coming in his glory with his Angels to reward,
(to which this verse clearly connects) cannot be applied to that;
And there is another place, Joh. 21.23 (which may help to
the understanding of this) which speaks of a real coming, and one
principall person (agreeable to what is here said of some
standing here) that should tarry, or not die,
till that coming of his. And that surely was
fulfilled in Johns seeing the pauoleoria,
or famous destruction of the Jewes, which was to fall in
that generation, Matt. 24. that is, in the life-time of
some there present, and is called the kingdome of God, and
the coming of Christ, and by consequence here most probably
the son of mans coming in his kingdome, (see the Notes on
Mat. 3:2, and ch. 24:3.b.) that is, his coming in the exercise of
his Kingly office, to work vengeance on his enemies, and
discriminate the faithfull believers from them." (in loc.)
"1. That the destruction of Jerusalem is very frequently expressed in Scripture as if it were the destruction of the whole world, Deuteronomy 32:22; "A fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell" (the discourse there is about the wrath of God consuming that people; see verses 20,21), "and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains." Jeremiah 4:23; "I beheld the earth, and lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light," &c. The discourse there also is concerning the destruction of that nation, Isaiah 65:17; "Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered," &c. And more passages of this sort among the prophets. According to this sense, Christ speaks in this place; and Peter speaks in his Second Epistle, third chapter; and John, in the sixth of the Revelation; and Paul, 2 Corinthians 5:17, &c.
2. That Christ's taking vengeance of that exceeding wicked nation is called Christ's "coming in glory," and his "coming in the clouds," Daniel 7. It is also called, "the day of the Lord." See Psalm 1:4; Malachi 3:1,2, &c.; Joel 2:31; Matthew 16:28; Revelation 1:7, &c. See what we have said on chapter 12:20; 19:28." (Lightfoot, vol. 2, p. 319).
"The destruction of Jerusalem is phrased in Scripture as the destruction of the whole world; and Christ's coming to her in judgment, as his coming to the last judgment. Therefore, those dreadful things, spoken of in Matt. 24:29,30 and 31, are but borrowed expressions, to set forth the terms of that judgment the more.. v.30 - "then shall they see" - not any visible appearance of Christ, or of the cross, in the clouds (as some have imagined); but, whereas Jews would not own Christ before for the Son of Man, or for the Messias, then by the vengeance that he should execute upon them, they and all the world should see an evident sign, and it was so. This, therefore, is called "his coming," and his coming in his kingdom." [A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, ed. Rev. John Rogers Pitman (London: J.F. Dove, 1825), p.141]
"This generation shall not pass, &c. Hence it appears plain enough, that the foregoing verses are not to be understood of the last judgment but, as we said, of the destruction of Jerusalem. There were some among the disciples (particularly John), who lived to see these things come to pass. With Matt. xvi.28, compare John xxi.22. And there were some Rabbins alive at the time when Christ spoke these things, that lived till the city was destroyed, viz. Rabban Simeon, who perished with the city, R. Jochanan Ben Zaccai, who outlived it, R. Zadoch, R. Ishmael, and others." (vol 2., p. 320).
"While this work was in the
press, a friend of mine put the sermons lately preached at Bapton's
Lectures, by Ralph Churton, M. A. into my hands. I have been only
able to run my eye over them in a very cursory manner; but he does
not seem to interfere with my plan; except in applying Matt. xvi,
29, to his transfiguration; which I have referred to the time when
the Jewish economy was to cease."
"His argument, that the ancients are
unanimously on his side, has as little weight with me, as with the
best commentators in modern times; for as Mr. Dodwell long ago
observed; they fell far short of the solidity of the moderns, who
excel them, not only in philosophy and learning, but in the
knowledge of antiquity, and even of their own languages. The
principal argument used by Mr. Churton, is the close connection of
Matthew xvi, 28, and the parallel chapters of Mark and Luke, with
the account of the transfiguration. But, with due submission, I
think the connection is evidently, not with the transfiguration, but
with the preceding context. We need only go back to the 27th verse,
to perceive this, "For the Son of man shall come in the glory
of his Father, with his angels, and then he shall reward every man
according to his works. Verily I say unto you, there will be some
standing here, who shall not taste of death, till they see the Son
of Man coming in his kingdom." -The coming of the Son of Man in
the former, and his coming in his kingdom, in the latter of these
verses, clearly determines the connection between the two; for in
the account of the transfiguration, which immediately follows, there
is not a word said of his coming. Besides, to foretel that the
disciples would not die till an event took place which was to happen
but six days after, this, as Bishop Newcome observes, would be a
prophecy unworthy of Christ. I have
only to add, that the same connection is observable in mark ix, 2,
and in Luke ix, 28." (An
Attempt to Illustrate..)
"But though I cannot, upon a careful perusal of this part of his work, agree with him in every thing he says, concerning the different comings of Christ mentioned in the New Testament; yet it has given me great satisfaction to find him saying, "that the Apostles, by the coming of Christ, which they represented as at hand, when they wrote their epistles, meant his coming
to establish his spiritual kingdom over all people, nations, and languages, and not his coming to put an end to the world; it is evident from what Christ himself told them, Matt. xvi, 28; There be some standing here, who shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." And agreeably to this account of the coming of Christ, and the end of all things, he observes, that every passage of their epistles, in which the Apostles have
spoken of these things as at hand, may, with the greatest propriety, be interested of Christ's coming to establish his own everlasting kingdom over all people, nations, and languages, by destroying Jerusalem, putting an end to he law of Moses, and spreading the Gospel through the world."
"This remarkable declaration is of the greatest importance in
this discussion, and may be regarded as the key to the right
interpretation of the New Testament doctrine of the Parousia. Though
it cannot be said that there are any special difficulties in the
language, it has greatly perplexed the commentators, who are much
divided in their explanations. It is surely unnecessary to ask what
is the coming of the Son of man here predicted. To suppose
that it refers merely to the glorious manifestation of Jesus on the
mount of transfiguration, though an hypothesis which has great names
to support it, is so palpably inadequate as an interpretation that
it scarcely requires refutation.
"It is reasonable to suppose, therefore that had the
evangelists known of a deeper and hidden meaning in the predictions
of Christ, they would have given some intimation to that effect; but
they say nothing to lead us to infer that their apparent meaning is
not their full and true meaning. There is, in fact; no ambiguity
whatever as to the coming referred to in the passage now
under consideration. It is not one of several possible comings; but
the one, sole, supreme event, so frequently predicted by our Lord,
so constantly expected by His disciples. It is His coming in glory;
His coming to judgment; His coming in His kingdom; the coming of the
kingdom of God. It is not a process, but an act. It is not the same
thing as 'the destruction of Jerusalem,'- that is another event
related and contemporaneous; but the two are not to be confounded.
The New Testament knows of only one Parousia, one coming in glory of
the Lord Jesus Christ. It is altogether an abuse of language to
speak of several senses in which Christ may be said to come, -- as
at His own resurrection; at the day of Pentecost; at the destruction
of Jerusalem; at the death of a believer; and at various
providential epochs. This is not the usage of the New Testament, nor
is it accurate language in any point of view. This passage alone
contains so much important truth respecting the Parousia, that it
may be said to cover the whole ground; and, rightly used, will be
found to be a key to the true interpretation of the New Testament
doctrine on this subject.
"The inference therefore is, that the Parousia, or glorious
coming of Christ, was declared by Himself to fall within the limits
of the then existing generation,- a conclusion which we shall find
in the sequel to be abundantly justified." (The
"All sorts of efforts have been made to evade the simple meaning of these words, but they all spring from the dogmatic prepossession that the coming of the Son of man in his glory must needs be an event far future from the time when the words were spoken." (Apocalyptics pp.213-252)
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16 Apr 2005
I think that, as usual, theists choose to interpret some biblical
text as literal unless to do so would prove inconvenient to their
belief, or outright erroneous. Then they feel completely justified
in presenting their own interpretation of the text and convert the
particularly difficult passage to some 'parable' like story where
references don't mean what they real say.
Date: 24 Jan 2006
I DON'T KNOW. I WAS JUST READING THROUGH MATTHEW AND NOTICED THIS
VERSE. I JUST ASKED MY PASTOR TO EXPLAIN IT DURING ADULT SUNDAY
SCHOOL QUESTION AND ANSWER TIME, BECAUSE HE TAKES THE BIBLE
LITERALLY, AND I KNOW HE'LL COME UP WITH THE CORRECT ANSWER.
Date: 01 Feb 2006
Matthew 16:28 is very disturbing for someone trying to develop faith
and then read this. There seems to be no symbolism or parable here.
This is the COMING and the plain language interpretaion is simple.
There was no coming when any of those standing were alive. They are
all dead now, and as far as I know the COMING has not yet occurred.
In other words, using basic interpretation and common sense, Matthew
16:28 is FALSE. I am completely open, and hopeful, that someone out
there can prove me wrong. Any takers?
Date: 08 Jan 2007
I am thankful to read what students of the bible over the years have
thought about this passage which surely refers to the historical
destruction of Jerusalem. It's either that or a perfect Jesus is a
of a figure as some have fallen into believing.
It's good to question, and there's even healthy doubt. I had trouble
with this scripture which led me here today. One can only doubt the
loving reality of Jesus Christ if they have not yet had the awesome
pleasure of meeting and worshipping Him in Spirit and truth and
experiencing His healing and freedom.
Jesus didn't come to start Christianity and that's the religious
trap much of the church has fallen into all these years.
Jesus left us physically but he's ever left us spiritually.
God bless you on your journey as you seek Him with all your heart,
soul, mind and strength. Honestly ask from the heart with the intent
to follow through on the truth revealed and you will be shown thr
truth and set free. Hope and healing to you where you need it
Date: 2 Feb 2008
Been away for a while and I felt moved to see where you were at.
Your recent essay on Matthew 16:27-28 and what it means strikes me
as a deeper, truer understanding of what Jesus was promising (not
merely prophesying, but promising... well spotted, Todd!)
If God is beyond time, then the Judgement comes for all of us at any
point in this linear temporal sequence, yet is at the "same" Divine
time of God's choosing. After all isn't the Judgement in some
time/space where "the Earth and sky have fled from the presence of
Him"? How can there be chronological time as we know it when the
"Sun, Moon and stars" were for the keeping of time & times? There
can be no time, no space as the Bible writers knew them without
Earth and sky.
[TD: Thanks! Here is a link to the article:
Matthew 16:27-28 is NOT a preterist "time indicator" pointing to
Date: 13 Mar 2011
Is it possible that John has in fact seen the second coming of
Christ when he was given the vision that is the book of Revelation?
In a very real sense, regardless of the style of language, John has
seen or was present in some sense at the second coming of Christ,
the Day of judgment as written and prophecies in the book of
revelation. That would fit the text as it stands without any hidden
meaning or forcing the text to mean what some want it to mean.
Date: 19 Aug 2011
Matt 16:28 was fulfilled in the life of john the belove,in seeing
the book of revelation which we can likened 2 the kingdom of
God.Revalation 1:1-2 (....who bare the record of the word of God(d
utterance of jesus in matt.16:28),and of the testimony of jesus
christ,and all thing that he saw(the kingdom of God with power).
Date March 3, 2013
Time 9:31 AM
Other things Christ said impact on his statement in Matthew 16:28.
One important one is found in Matthew 11:26: "And whosoever liveth
and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?".
This refers to a specific group of people, who have in common such a
great amount of spiritual maturity,
that at time their physical bodies die, their sentient consciousness
continues on in a celestial body, having been instantly born from
above; and they continue to be alive in heaven to witness the
genuine glorious return of Christ to this earth.
They are mentioned in Revelation chapter 19. This chapter describes
the return of Christ. Here are verses 11- 16:
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat
upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth
judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many
crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name
is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white
horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should
smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he
treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING
OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
At the beginning of this chapter, in verse one, we see who are the
witnesses to this event:
"And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in
heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and
power, unto the Lord our God:
Surely, those to whom Jesus was referring in Matthew 16:29 (Peter
and other disciples) will be among this group of "much people in
heaven" witnessing his actual return ..... but they were doing it
from heaven, and not the earth.