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This area of the forum is primarily for Christian theists to discuss orthodox views of Eschatology. Other theist participation is welcome within that framework, but only within orthodoxy. Posts from nontheists that do not promote atheism or seek to undermine the faith of others will be permitted at the Moderator's discretion - such posters should contact the area moderators before posting.


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Preterism Question

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  • Preterism Question

    This is not a debate thread - at least not until I get an answer and get out of the way!

    Is there any extant document from the First or Second Century that indicates that Christ returned in any way in 70 AD? I mean in a reasonably direct manner.

    That's all I want to know right now. I am not working on some bizarre gotcha, not that I could given my weak knowledge of preterism. I just want to know that one thing.

    Thank you! :-)

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


    "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

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  • #2
    Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
    This is not a debate thread - at least not until I get an answer and get out of the way!

    Is there any extant document from the First or Second Century that indicates that Christ returned in any way in 70 AD? I mean in a reasonably direct manner.

    That's all I want to know right now. I am not working on some bizarre gotcha, not that I could given my weak knowledge of preterism. I just want to know that one thing.

    Thank you! :-)
    Nothing that I'm aware of.

    I don't see that as necessarily a preterist question. Some preterists do think Jesus returned and the resurrection took place, according to what I have read, though I never met any that I know of. I still look forward to a future return of Jesus and a resurrection.

    The Olivet discourse begins with a three-part question,
    As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Matt 24:3, NASB)
    "These things" referring to the destruction of the temple and the structures attached to it. That clearly happened in AD 70. Maybe the disciples thought all three questions referred to the same event. In Matthew 24:23 Jesus begins the answer to the second and third question, warning against false Christs and false prophets with signs and wonders. I see this as a clear distinction between the destruction of the temple in AD 70 and the future return of Jesus.

    2 Thessalonians 2:8 reads,
    Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming. (2 Thess 2:8, NASB)
    That appears to have taken place a few years before AD 70, but the "coming" (Greek=parousia) could just as well mean "presence," not referring to His return at the last day.

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    • #3
      Okay, thank you. I appreciate the thoughtful response.

      Making sure I understand, preterists regard the events of 70 AD as a partial fulfillment and not an actual return of Christ?

      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

      My Personal Blog

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
        Okay, thank you. I appreciate the thoughtful response.

        Making sure I understand, preterists regard the events of 70 AD as a partial fulfillment and not an actual return of Christ?
        Some, that is (me included). The full preterists, or hyperpreterists, are the ones to watch out for.

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        • #5
          Okay, thanks. I think I have it.

          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

          My Personal Blog

          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
            Okay, thanks. I think I have it.
            They're dangerous. They can turn you into an atheist.

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            • #7
              2Th 2:1-4 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2
              not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3
              Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first,
              and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4
              who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.


              Where does that leave preterism?
              sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                Okay, thank you. I appreciate the thoughtful response.

                Making sure I understand, preterists regard the events of 70 AD as a partial fulfillment and not an actual return of Christ?
                Not really. I understand the events of 70 AD as being wholly fulfilled by Christ coming in judgment upon an apostate nation and not a literal, physical appearance. The Lord coming in judgment is actually a fairly common motif in prophecy, eg - Is 19:1 where it is prophesised that God would come to Egypt for their judgment, Rev 2:5 where Jesus isn't threatening the church in Ephesus with the second coming.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by alaskazimm View Post
                  Not really. I understand the events of 70 AD as being wholly fulfilled by Christ coming in judgment upon an apostate nation and not a literal, physical appearance. The Lord coming in judgment is actually a fairly common motif in prophecy, eg - Is 19:1 where it is prophesised that God would come to Egypt for their judgment, Rev 2:5 where Jesus isn't threatening the church in Ephesus with the second coming.
                  Okay, then I will pose my first question to you, with the understanding that your form of preterism differs from Faber's.

                  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                  "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                  My Personal Blog

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                    Okay, then I will pose my first question to you, with the understanding that your form of preterism differs from Faber's.
                    Since I associate the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD with Jesus coming in judgment through the vehicle of the Roman armies, you could say that Josephus' "Wars of the Jews" would fit. But if you're looking for a church father who makes that connection, even implicitly, I honestly don't know of any.

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                    • #11
                      Okay, thank you. I appreciate your candor.

                      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                      My Personal Blog

                      My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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                      • #12
                        If you understand that Jesus' second coming is spiritual, as Augustine taught, then yes His second coming was in the first century and continues today. This is something William Lane Craig seems to argue against. Augustine called this the continual coming of Christ in the church. Preterism also seems to reject this idea because, like Craig, they want to understand the second coming(s) as literal, historical events. Post-enlightenment interpretation focuses on the historical and literal. Patristic interpretation was more concerned with religious philosophy. That's the reason people like Gore, mentioned in the other thread, misunderstand some of what the fathers said.

                        Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
                        666 And The Name

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                          This is not a debate thread - at least not until I get an answer and get out of the way!

                          Is there any extant document from the First or Second Century that indicates that Christ returned in any way in 70 AD? I mean in a reasonably direct manner.

                          That's all I want to know right now. I am not working on some bizarre gotcha, not that I could given my weak knowledge of preterism. I just want to know that one thing.

                          Thank you! :-)
                          That's a harder question than you probably realize. Do you believe that the destruction of the Temple and the "Holy City" Jerusalem were the "end of the (Jewish) age"? Do you believe the 70 weeks of Daniel are the Tribulation? If you do then it seems obvious that (as Alaskazimm said) that Jesus returned in Judgement in 70 A.D. There is some illicit agreement from some ECF's:

                          Clement of Alexadria said:
                          "Vespasian rose to the supreme power (Emperor of Rome) and destroyed Jerusalem, and desolated the holy place” .
                          - Which sounds like the abomination of desolation...?

                          Origen said:
                          "The weeks of years up to the time of Christ the leader that Daniel the prophet predicted were fulfilled"

                          -Jewish age is complete?

                          Tertullian said:
                          "Vespasian vanquished the Jews…and so by the date of his storming Jerusalem, the Jews had completed the seventy weeks foretold by Daniel”
                          - Seventieth week of Daniel fulfilled.

                          Athanasius said:
                          "Jerusalem is to stand till His coming, and thenceforth, prophet and vision cease in Israel . This is why Jerusalem stood till then…that they might be exercised in the types as a preparation for the reality…but from that time forth all prophecy is sealed and the city and Temple taken"

                          - Jerusalem stood until Christ came and ascended, then "all prophecy is sealed"


                          So, there is some hint(?) that some ECF's thought the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem was a judgement on Israel for the rejection of Christ. That it was the "end of the age" (of the Jews).
                          Hope that helps!
                          "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                          "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
                            That's a harder question than you probably realize. Do you believe that the destruction of the Temple and the "Holy City" Jerusalem were the "end of the (Jewish) age"? Do you believe the 70 weeks of Daniel are the Tribulation? If you do then it seems obvious that (as Alaskazimm said) that Jesus returned in Judgement in 70 A.D. There is some illicit agreement from some ECF's:

                            Clement of Alexadria said:
                            "Vespasian rose to the supreme power (Emperor of Rome) and destroyed Jerusalem, and desolated the holy place” .
                            - Which sounds like the abomination of desolation...?

                            Origen said:
                            "The weeks of years up to the time of Christ the leader that Daniel the prophet predicted were fulfilled"

                            -Jewish age is complete?

                            Tertullian said:
                            "Vespasian vanquished the Jews…and so by the date of his storming Jerusalem, the Jews had completed the seventy weeks foretold by Daniel”
                            - Seventieth week of Daniel fulfilled.

                            Athanasius said:
                            "Jerusalem is to stand till His coming, and thenceforth, prophet and vision cease in Israel . This is why Jerusalem stood till then…that they might be exercised in the types as a preparation for the reality…but from that time forth all prophecy is sealed and the city and Temple taken"

                            - Jerusalem stood until Christ came and ascended, then "all prophecy is sealed"


                            So, there is some hint(?) that some ECF's thought the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem was a judgement on Israel for the rejection of Christ. That it was the "end of the age" (of the Jews).
                            Hope that helps!
                            Whatever word you were aiming for, I'm fairly certain you missed with "illicit."
                            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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                            sigpic
                            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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                            • #15
                              Teal, shoot me your address on here or on FB and I will send you a gratis copy of my book. I get into this question quite a bit. And I would happy to send you a copy.

                              Let me clarify, I get into it by showing there is a bit of a wrong presumption in the question. But in any event, I think you will find it helpful just to understand the position.
                              The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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