Gary responds to a recent video and emails he has received that were critical of his views on Matthew 24.

Modern writers from all different eschatological positions are beginning to recognize the historical fact that preterist interpretations of John’s visions are not a novelty that has invaded Christian exegesis in recent times. Professor Ron J. Bigalke, Jr. of dispensationalist Tyndale Theological Seminary, in an article on “Preterism and Antiquity,” acknowledged that mild forms of preterism appear in the Apocalypse commentaries of Andrew and Arethas of Caesarea in Cappadocia.[1] Jonathan H. Barlow, who opposes a “full preterist” interpretation of Matthew 24, wrote that preterism which finds a near fulfillment in “much of the prophecy of the New Testament including the book of Revelation” is “nothing new and is relatively noncontroversial.”[2]

C. Jonathan Seraiah, who also opposes full preterism, called the preterist position that views many of the eschatological passages of the New Testament as having been fulfilled in 70 A.D. as an “ancient view” that has had “orthodox adherents to it throughout church history.”[3]

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., discussing the origins of preterist interpretations of the book of Revelation, admits that Alcasar “presents a more consistent, full-scale preterist approach to Revelation”[4] than his predecessors, but concluded: “Traces of preterism appear centuries before Alcazar [sic].”[5]

These interpretations are not new. They do not merely show up here and there in authors like Andrew and Arethas, but are present in a multitude of Apocalypse commentaries from early, medieval, and Reformation Christianity.

Revelation and the First Century

Revelation and the First Century

The increase in understanding of biblical eschatology in recent decades has brought with it a return to biblical preterism—the view that much of biblical prophecy which we formerly considered to pertain to our future was actually fulfilled in the events surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Critics of this viewpoint have often accused it of being ‘novel’ in Christian history, and worse, some citing a Jesuit conspiracy in the 1600s for its origin! Dr. Gumerlock provides dozens of citations from early church history proving that many of them held a preterist view from the very first days of Christianity onward.

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Gary responds to a recent video and emails he has received that were critical of his views on Matthew 24. Gary points out (again) that the these critical views are 1) nothing new, and 2) have been refuted hundreds of times by commentators writing centuries and centuries ago. Preterism is not new as some claim, and more importantly, it allows the Bible to interpret the Bible, rather than current events.

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[1] Ron J. Bigalke, Jr., “Preterism and Antiquity: Was Preterism a View of the Early Church?” Journal of Dispensational Theology 12:35 (March 2008): 49–60 at 60.

[2] Jonathan H. Barlow,“A Response to the Preterist Interpretation of the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24),” 1–10 at 1. eschaton/barlow. Accessed July 6, 2008.

[3] C. Jonathan Seraiah, The End of All Things: A Defense of the Future (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 1999), 14.

[4] Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Navigating the Book of Revelation (Fountain Inn, SC: Good Birth Ministries, 2009), 37.

[5] Gentry, Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation, Rev. ed. (Atlanta: American Vision, 1998), xxvi.