(Henry Alford, On Matthew 25 confounding His "Double-Sense Theory")
'I think it proper to state, in this third edition, that, having now entered upon the deeper study of the prophetic portions of the New Testament, I do not feel by any means that full confidence which I once did in the exegesis,
quoad prophetical interpretation, here given of the three portions of (Matthew) chap. xxv. But I have no other system to substitute, and some of the points here dwelt on seem to me as weighty as ever.' (July 1855.) (in location)
Dr. H. Wayne House
"As a futurist, and a dispensationalist, I find the exegetical arguments
for Preterism to be woefully lacking and the historical arguments from
Josephus to bolster their arguments disingenuous, but is there support
for this type of understanding of the Fall of Jerusalem and the
predictions of Christ within the writings of the Church that follows
A.D. 70? Did the Church Fathers of the ensuing centuries look back on
A.D. 70 as the fulfillment of the Olivet Discourse in part, or whole?
When reading the works of the theologians of the first several
centuries—the patristic period ranging from the first through the eighth
centuries—orthodox and heterodox, none of them seemed to refer to the
fall of Jerusalem as a comprehensive fulfillment of the Olivet Discourse
nor did they believe that most or all of the second coming was past.
Rather, they believed that the statements of Jesus in the little
apocalypse (Matt 24; Mark 13) were future from their day. An examination
of the writings of the ante-Nicene, Nicene, and post-Nicene Fathers of
the Church reveals clearly that they looked for a future coming of
Christ, cancelling out any sense a hard Preterism. If any expressed a
Preterist perspective regarding the particulars of the Olivet Discourse
(namely, the coming of Christ, the Antichrist and destruction of
Jerusalem), it would surely only be a soft Preterism. In spite of this
caveat, however, I could only find one father who might qualify (Clement
"Though he does seem to adopt a Preterist perspective regarding the
destruction of Jerusalem, Clement, in Stromata, 3.6. does indicate that
he believes in a future second coming of Christ when he is arguing
against those who spoke against marriage. In an untranslated Latin
portion of Clement in Donaldson's Ante-Nicene Fathers (Book 3), Clement
says that the coming of the Lord will be a time both of humans going
about daily business and a time of great distress, quoting from the
Olivet Discourse:" The Understanding of the Church Fathers Regarding the
Olivet Discourse and the Fall of Jerusalem
- Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be
likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
- Matthew 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
- Matthew 25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
- Matthew 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
- Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
- Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
- Matthew 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
- Matthew 25:8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
- Matthew 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
- Matthew 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
- Matthew 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
- Matthew 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
- Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
- Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
- Matthew 25:15 And
unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
- Matthew 25:16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
- Matthew 25:17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
- Matthew 25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
- Matthew 25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
- Matthew 25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
- Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
- Matthew 25:22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
- Matthew 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
- Matthew 25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
- Matthew 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
- Matthew 25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
- Matthew 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
- Matthew 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
- Matthew 25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
- Matthew 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
- Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
- Matthew 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd
divideth his sheep from the goats:
- Matthew 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
- Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
- Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
- Matthew 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
- Matthew 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
- Matthew 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
- Matthew 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
- Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
- Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
- Matthew 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
- Matthew 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
- Matthew 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
- Matthew 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
- Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
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