BOOKS: BIBLICAL STUDIES (1500BC-AD70) / EARLY CHRISTIAN PRETERISM (AD50-1000) / FREE ONLINE BOOKS (AD1000-2008)
AD70 Dispensationalism: According to
that view, AD70 was the end of 'this age' and the start of the 'age to come'.
Those who lived before AD70 could only 'see in part' and such, lacking
the resurrection and redemptive blessings which supposedly came only
Herod's Temple in Jerusalem
fell. Accordingly, AD70 was not only the end of Old
Testament Judaism, but it was also the end of the revelation of
Christianity as seen in the New Testament.
AD70 Dispensationalism: According to that view, AD70 was the end of 'this age' and the start of the 'age to come'. Those who lived before AD70 could only 'see in part' and such, lacking the resurrection and redemptive blessings which supposedly came only when Herod's Temple in Jerusalem fell. Accordingly, AD70 was not only the end of Old Testament Judaism, but it was also the end of the revelation of Christianity as seen in the New Testament.
material is being archived for balanced representation of all preterist views,
but is classified under the theological term hyper (as in beyond
the acceptable range of tolerable doctrines) at this website. The
classification of all full preterism as Hyper Preterism (HyP) is built
upon well over a decade of intense research at PreteristArchive.com, and
the convictions of
the website curator (a
former full preterist pastor). The HyP
theology of final resurrection and consummation in the fall of Jerusalem, with its dispensational line in AD70
(end of old age, start of new age), has never been known among authors
through nearly 20 centuries of Christianity leading up
to 1845, when the earliest known full preterist book was written.
Even though there may be many secondary points of agreement between
Historical/Modern Preterism and Hyper Preterism, their premises are undeniably and
THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED AS "HYPER PRETERIST"
"Full preterist" material is being archived for balanced representation of all preterist views, but is classified under the theological term hyper (as in beyond the acceptable range of tolerable doctrines) at this website. The classification of all full preterism as Hyper Preterism (HyP) is built upon well over a decade of intense research at PreteristArchive.com, and the convictions of the website curator (a former full preterist pastor). The HyP theology of final resurrection and consummation in the fall of Jerusalem, with its dispensational line in AD70 (end of old age, start of new age), has never been known among authors through nearly 20 centuries of Christianity leading up to 1845, when the earliest known full preterist book was written. Even though there may be many secondary points of agreement between Historical/Modern Preterism and Hyper Preterism, their premises are undeniably and fundamentally different.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED AS "HYPER PRETERIST"
SOME DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES OF SYSTEMATIZED HYPER PRETERISM
It is important to keep in mind that many ideas and doctrines full preterism appeals to - such as the complete end of the Old Covenant world in AD70 - are by no means distinctive to that view. Many non HyPs believe this as well, so one need not embrace the Hyper Preterist system in order to endorse this view. Following are exceptional doctrines which, so far as I've seen, are only taught by adherents of Hyper Preterism.:
DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY STANDARD FULL PRETERISM
DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY VARIOUS FORMS
Further Reply to Vander Werff
By Kingdom Counsel
The question was raised as whether the last events (resurrection judgment, coming and end of the world) happened at 70 AD, and what evidence there is to support that idea. There is plenty of historical evidence from Josephus, Tacitus, Eusebius an Talmudic sources to substantiate the fact that 70 AD was the 'end of the age.' Those writers talk about the incredible signs and wonders that happened in those days just before the destruction of Jerusalem. It is all there documented for everyone to see. The problem is, no one is reading those historical sources. Most Christians I have talked to didn't even know the historical event of the destruction Jerusalem even happened, much less that Josephus wrote an eyewitness account of it.
But, the real evidence comes from the NT writings themselves, especially the TIME statements. Futurists are seemingly unwilling (or unable?) to deal with these verses. They simply don't know what to make of them. I noticed this over fifteen years ago when researching what the major commentaries had to say about the idea of imminency. I was stunned at the scarcity of comments on the time statements. Many commentaries glossed right over them as if they didn't even exist. The few commentaries that did deal with them either said they were mistaken or couldn't mean what they said. That kind of 'ostrich-style' exegesis will never answer the liberal arguments against the inspiration of Scripture which are based directly on the imminency statements. I might well have left the faith and gone into the modernists camp had it not been for the solidly consistent and conservative preterist answer. So, if the futurists really want to get to the heart of the issue, they had better deal with the imminency statements. That is where the preterist position stands or falls. Attacking any other peripheral issue will not be effective.
The idea was presented that the early church had an almost unanimous tradition that Revelation was written about 95 AD. Mr. Vander Werff may be a good student of those early traditions, but I doubt he has done the deep research that Philip Schaff has (author of the eight-volume History of the Christian Church). Mr. Schaff took the position that Revelation was written before 70 AD with full knowledge of all the "unanimous traditions" of the early church. What needs to be pointed out here is that the 96 AD date for Revelation is based almost entirely on an obscure reference by Eusebius to a statement by Irenaus. The statement has been mis-translated by the futurists to refer to the book of Revelation 'having been seen' at the close of Domitian's reign, when in fact it was referring to the apostle John having been seen still alive at that time (Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, p. 102). This neutralizes the value of Irenaeus' statements at best. But, if I was an Amillennialist (as I presume Mr. Vander Werff is), I don't think I would want to use Irenaeus to buttress my eschatological position. Irenaeus and Papias were both materialistic millennialists. Listen to what Eusebius says about them (Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, p. 126):
So, even if Irenaus' statements have been correctly translated by the futurists, I wouldn't place too much confidence in them since they were made by a mistaken millennialist. And I sure wouldn't base my whole interpretation of the book of Revelation on a 96 A.D. date with such questionable evidence bacldng it up. Incidentally, it is interesting to note that Mr. Vander Werff seems to subscribe to some similar millennial notions as Papias and Irenaus (for instance, see his footnote #7 in the third column of page 4 of this issue). It sure looks as if he is closer to Hal Lindsey's position than he is willing to admit. All futurists eventually end up with inconsistency problems like this!
The point was well established by Mr. Vander Werff that the Jewish persecution did not stop at 70 AD. There is no doubt that the Jews continued their efforts to persecute the church long after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Mr. VanderWerff has pointed out a few good examples. But, the point that we need to see here is that 70 AD did bring to an end a very threatening "tribulation.' A persecution is one thing, but 'the tribulation' is quite another. Notice the statements of Jesus in Matthew 24:8-29 (esp. verses 9, 21, 22):
There would evidently be other persecutions after this 'great tribulation,' since He says, 'nor ever shall" [be a greater tribulation]; but it is evident that this one during that generation would be the greatest threat to the infant church. Jesus had promised earlier that the gates of Hades would not prevail. Evidently this tribulation was indeed a critical threat to the longevity of the church, since Jesus said, 'unless those days had been cut short ..." (Matt. 24:22). So, it is not without good justification that we preterists insist that the Jewish persecution did suffer a serious setback at 70 AD. And, it is clear from what Apostle Paul says about his former manner of life as a Jewish leader, that the Jews were not out to have a friendly debate with the Christians. They were trying to "destroy" the church (cf. Gal. 1: 13). Their attempt failed. By 70 AD the church was strong enough to survive for eternity, and no dictator, atheist, anarchist, or conspiracy today will ever threaten its existence again like that. That was the greatest tribulation that will ever be. There will be other persecutions, but 'the tribulation' ended at 70 AD. Those days were indeed cut short in the nick of time. Mr. Vander Werff made the statement that 'the early church does not agree' with preterists on this. All I have to say in reply is, if that is the case, then the early church did not agree with Jesus!
I would also like to challenge one of his statements in footnote #6 (page 4, column 3). In reference to the coming of the kingdom (Matt. 16:27,28), which Mr. Vander Werff believes is here now in some sense (but not yet completely realized), he has this to say, 'This kingdom will never end but it will be only completely realized at His future 2nd coming and the end of the world. So, many listening to Jesus saw the Son of man coming in His kingdom.' There is a serious exegetical problem displayed here! We must look at the text on this one. It is important to see how futurists deal with (or should I say, 'don't deal with') these time statements:
Mr. Vander Werff tried to separate verse 28 from verse 27 and pretend like they are two totally unrelated passages. Both verses are talking about exactly the same thing. Verse 27 speaks of Christ's return with His angels as an event 'about to' happen. He reaffirms this in verse 28 (using the strong affirmative 'truly') by stating that it would indeed happen within the lifetime of some (not all) of those standing there listening. And this coming of the Son of Man with His angels that was about to happen in their generation was considered as Christ's taking full possession of (or coming into) His Kingdom. If Jesus has not come into possession of His kingdom yet, as He promised He 'truly' would in that generation, then the veracity of Christ and the whole Christian system goes out the window. These two verses put the whole futurist group (premils, postmils and amils) in a real dilemma.
In Vander Werffs reply to Kingdom Counsel (page 9, column 2), he makes a big deal about Apostle Paul warning the Thessalonians (2 Thess. 2:lff) not to expect Christ's return until the apostasy (the falling away) had come. Vander Werff says this passage proves that the coming would not be imminent, since the apostasy associated with the "man of lawlessness" or "son of destruction" was still way off in the future. We must take issue with this, because right in the context of this passage Paul says that the "mystery of lawlessness" (vs. 7) was already at work. This wasn't something way off in the future. And this agrees with the timetable Jesus Himself had given for the apostasy (Matthew 24:9-13):
Compare the above statements of Jesus about the events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD with Paul's statements in the context of 2 Thess. 2. Notice the references Paul makes to 'lawlessness' (vs. 3, 7, 8), false wonders (vs. 9), and the saints' perseverance (vs. 10-17). These are exactly the same elements we find in Jesus'statements in Matthew 24. And Jesus there indicated this would happen in that generation (Matt. 24:34). Whatever 2 Thess. 2is talking about, it is clear that it was an apostasy that happened in the first century just before 70 AD. It is not still future. The futurists would do well to stay away from 2 Thessalonians 2. It doesn't support their position at all.
Mr. Vander Werff does pose a very interesting and important question. If we assume that the preterist position is correct, then what about the prophetic scriptures that have all been fulfilled. "Are they then profitable any more for today?" ... Is this not taking away from Holy Scripture?' The value of Scripture is enhanced even more by its fulfillment. Now we are not just waiting for the consummation and given only a 'pledge' or 'seal' to get us by until the perfect arrives. We have the full and complete state of the kingdom. We live in His presence and eat at His table and commune with Him in His kingdom. The prophetic scriptures describe all these spiritual blessings that are ours now in the kingdom. Those passages are not just hopes and anxious longings. They are reality. They are realized eschatology.
Nothing could be more exciting and encouraging than having the 'real thing' rather than just the pledge and hope. Those passages must be horribly depressing to futurists, since they would have to live in dread of the terrible apostasy and the antichrist coming and ushering in the 'great tribulation.' I'm glad I don't have to live in fear like that. It is wonderful to know that Christ's kingdom is here now, and that He reigns in His fullest sense. The futurist can only have Christ reigning in a limited sense. They are limiting Christ's sovereignty. The benefits of the preterist position toward understanding and being edified by Scripture are many indeed. The only disadvantage is that it isn't popular (yet)! But, neither were any of the reformers' positions at first.
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