Sent: Wednesday, September 14,
2005 10:34 PM
Subject: JEWISH ORIGIN
OF PRETERISM [09/14--2005]
THE JEWISH ORIGIN OF PRETERISM
In a message dated 9/12/2005 5:36:42 AM Central
Daylight Time, a brother writes:
Would it be right to say that there were
Preterists in the First Century A.D, or would it be more accurate to see it as
a movement that is post First Century? Is it part of the original mire about
the question of the nature of the resurrection?
Thanks for your help.
This is a new topic for me.
think the first Preterists were the late Old Testament Jews who arrived
at the theory on Daniel that it was fulfilled not long after Daniel wrote it.
Josephus believed this, but he added A. D. 70 to it when he said Daniel
"also" wrote about A. D. 70.
Here is my article on
THE JEWISH ORIGINS OF PRETERISM
CONFIRMED BY PRETERIST SOURCES
BOB L. ROSS
In the article on our website, entitled
Preterist Prophetic Phantasyland, details are given which demonstrate the
origin of the Preterist "presupposition" as being with the Jews of the
"interbiblical period" -- a long span of years prior to the coming of Christ
-- during which there was a "famine of hearing the word of the Lord" (Amos
8:11). Jesus and the Apostles never endorsed any utterances during the
"interbiblical" period as being inspired "scripture."
Was Daniel "Fulfilled" Before Christ?
The "presupposition" of
Preterism is that UNINSPIRED men are capable of discerning and pronouncing what
"fulfills" inspired prophecies. One of the major foundations of Preterism
involves writings of the interbiblical period, when uninspired Jewish
sources ventured to declare certain "fulfillments" of inspired prophecy,
apart from any Divine authentication.
This is what the Jewish writer(s)
of the "Maccabees" (books in the Apocrypha) did in regard to the writings
by Daniel, as Maccabees declared that "Antiochus Epiphanes" was the fulfillment
of Daniel's prophecies. Not only was the writer uninspired, there is no reason
to believe he was even in a "salvation" relationship with the Lord.
is no New Testament recognition for the inspiration and authenticity of anything
or any writer in Maccabees, the Apocrypha, or the interbiblical period. It
was during this period of time in which the "Pharisee" sect was formed, as a
sort of "revival" or "restoration" of the Mosaic system. Jesus rejected
Phariseeism on the whole, and endorsed only what was consistent with the true
Law of Moses.
Josephus -- Was Daniel Fulfilled in A. D.
As was the case with the writer of Maccabees, the same was true
of Josephus, the most referred-to "authority" by Preterists; that is, as
even the Preterists themselves emphasize -- he was not a professing Christian,
did not accept Jesus Christ, and certainly was not inspired in what he wrote. In
fact, Josephus was of the sect of the Pharisees (Complete Works of
Josephus, pages 1, 2).
That he was "not inspired" is stated
by Ed Stevens, a Preterist, in his booklet, "70 A.D." (page 4). Ed
is one of the managers of a Preterist website called "Kingdom Counsel," and a
distributor of Preterist writings.
Even more significant, J. Stuart
Russell, author of the book which is at the "foundation" of most modern
Preterist thinking -- The Parousia -- has some comments about Josephus:
Russell refers to Josephus as "a Jewish statesman, soldier, priest, and
man of letters" and says "this testimony [of Josephus] does not come from a
Christian.... but from a Jew — indifferent, if not HOSTILE — to the cause
of Jesus" (p. 110, 111).
While Russell seems to think this is a
significant point in favor of his cause, we think it is quite the
contrary. It demonstrates that the man who is responsible for the Preterist
view about A.D. 70 in relation to the writings of Daniel (and consequently in
relation to the Preterist view on the reference to Daniel in Matthew 24:15), was
an unsaved, unregenerate Jew who was allegedly "indifferent, if not hostile, to
the cause of Jesus." This was not a person with the attribute for
discerning the "fulfillment" of prophecy. His writings have indeed been
"hostile" to the cause of Jesus, in that he is the chief "authority" for modern
Preterists who seek to destroy the teachings of Christ about prophetic events by
means of their perverted "interpretations."
In our research, we have not
found a single Preterist source which even hints that this unsaved,
uninspired Jewish priest is to be doubted in the least when he proclaims
Daniel's writings to be "fulfilled." Rather, we have found some sources
which not only take his word as "law," but even "add-to" what Josephus actually
did say, expanding his writings to emphatically validate points in their
"eschatological" scheme of things. He is actually made to "say" certain
things which he does NOT even say.
In addition to (1) the writer of
Maccabees and (2) Josephus, the alleged "historical" criteria used by recent
preterists, such as Philip Mauro on Daniel chapter 11, by which to assert
"the prophecy was fulfilled with literal exactitude," was developed by
Jews, and it has become so "traditional" it is repeated without question in
commentaries and other sources. Keil & Delitzsch have documented numerous
inaccuracies in the alleged "correspondence" of "the Jewish
history" to the
contents of Daniel and, in many cases, contradictions of "the facts of
The practical consequences of the alleged "historical
chronology" to Daniel by the Jew, Zeitlin, are (1) the elimination of Daniel's
writings, on the one hand, as prophetic of the Second Coming of Christ, and, (2)
on the other hand, many novel efforts to effectively force Daniel to somehow
conform to the alleged historical criteria.
Mauro himself is an example
of the latter, as he tries to make prophecies in Daniel 11 conform to
Asmonean history, in one instance even making the "KING of the south" to be
a WOMAN ("Cleopatra") who was in fact a "queen" in Egypt, a locale
which is distinguished from the "south" in Daniel 11:8, 9; 40-42.
There is absolutely no evidence that Christians in A.D. 70
considered the Roman army's conquest of Jerusalem to be a fulfillment of
Daniel's prophecies, nor of the passage in Matthew 24:15 which refers to Daniel.
Such an idea came on the scene much later, and apparently was derived
solely from the writings of Josephus, who wrote under the "watchful eye"
of the Roman General, Titus, who is embellished by Josephus as the leader of the
Roman army, and of whom Daniel supposedly "wrote" in the Divinely-given
prophecies. It does not seem to be coincidental that Titus is a rather
impeccable General as he is described by Josephus, for Josephus was
handsomely rewarded with "no small quantity"of tax-free property and a pension
for his account of Titus in this "history." Church apostasy moved toward the
prostitution of early Roman "Christianity" as the official religion of the Roman
Empire under Emperor Constantine (313 A. D).
Eusebius, the alleged
"Father of Church History," endorsed the "history" of Josephus; he also
incorporated the uninspired Jew's claim of the fulfillment of Daniel's
prophecies by the Romans with the words of Christ in Matthew 24:15, thereby
giving the "Church's" stamp of validity to Josephus' claim.
(1) official Secular "history" written by Josephus, authorized by the
Emperor, and (2) Ecclesiastical ("Church") history by Eusebius, were
merged, and the "Church" learned to embrace Josephus as "authentic" in all
respects. To question Josephus, one would have to walk-over the endorsement of
Eusebius, who wrote:
"On comparing the declarations
of our Saviour with the other parts of the historian's [Josephus'] work,"
etc. (Ecclesiastical History by Eusebius, Book I: chapter VII, pg. 93; 1966
edition, Baker Book House).
The "rule of measurement" became the
writings by Josephus, not the book of Daniel itself, and that continues to the
Added to this, with the writing of a commentary on Daniel
by "Saint Jerome," the scholarly corruption and permanent distortion of the
prophecies of Daniel were firmly established in the secular, the historical, and
The "foundations" of Preterist eschatology were
therefore set by --
(1) uninspired Jewish sources,
incorporated as valid by both secular Rome and "Christian" Rome,
(3) perpetuated by "scholastics" of the "Church."
The consequence is the "Full Preterism" of writers such as Russell and
the current crop of "Parousia" enthusiasts who claim to have "realized" either
some or all of the following: the Second Coming, the Millennium, the
Tribulation, the Resurrection, and the Judgment, and in some cases even Heaven
That's why I call Preterism a "Prophetic
Phantasyland." For my article on the matter, see this
our company: "The Lord gave the WORD: great was the COMPANY of those
that PUBLISHED it" [Psalm 68:11] — Please, Copy this article, pass it on, and
mail to others. Permission granted by Bob L. Ross
"The day will
come, when the Lord Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout, with the trump
of the archangel and the voice of God. Some think that this descent of the
Lord will be postmillennial — that is after the thousand years of his
reign. I cannot think so. I conceive that the advent will be PREMILLENNIAL
— that he will come first and then will come the millennium as the result of His
personal reign upon the earth." -- C. H. Spurgeon (Justification & Glory,
MTP Vol 11, Year 1865, p.
AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET
AND BY EMAIL ON PRETERISM
is a list of my available writings on PRETERISM, some of which are on the
PRIMER on PRETERISM
TIME of Christ's
"THE PAROUSIA" -- C. H. Spurgeon's Review
BACKGROUND OF MODERN