Monday, January 02, 2006

Preterists Turn Jesus Into A False Prophet

It’s hard to keep up with all the prophecy beliefs out there, so just in case you don’t know, there is quite a following of preterism within Christianity. Preterism is the belief that all, or most of prophecy is fulfilled. There is a debate amongst themselves as to exactly where we presently are in the book of Revelation, but they all (partial and full preterists) agree that Matthew 24 is fulfilled. They believe the abomination of desolation, the great tribulation, and the day of the Lord was fulfilled in 70 AD during the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. One of their arguments goes like this:

When Jesus told His disciples about the coming abomination of desolation and His return, He indicated that they would see these events take place because He addressed them personally.

“Therefore when YOU see the abomination of desolation…(Matthew 24:15).

“…when YOU see all these things, recognize that He is near…(Matthew 24:33).

Preterists teach that because Jesus was speaking directly to His first century disciples, He must have been speaking about the first century generation in general, and therefore, the prophecies must have taken place in that generation. They claim that futurists do not interpret the bible literally, and that “turning the obvious meaning of ‘you’ into a designation for a future audience is highly irregular and contrary to all the rules of biblical interpretation (Gary DeMar, End Times Fiction, p.67).”

But if a preterist is going to actually interpret this passage “literally” in the way they claim they do, they cannot say that Jesus is speaking to the first century disciples in general. He was not speaking to the disciples in general. Jesus was speaking to Peter, James, John, and Andrew…PRIVATELY. Jesus told them, the specific four, that THEY would see the abomination of desolation, and that THEY would see “all these things.”

But as we know from Scripture, at least James (see Acts 12:2), and possibly Peter, was killed before the time when preterists claim the abomination of desolation took place in 66 AD. At least one of the four did not see what Jesus said he would see. Are the preterists going to tell me that Jesus was not making a broader application than the specific four when He looked directly at James and said, "When YOU see the abomination of desolation...flee?"

Either Jesus was wrong and is a false prophet, or the preterists are wrong in their interpretation of the word “you.” Hmmm, I’m going to have to pray about this one. Just maybe Jesus was speaking about the Church in general when He addressed the disciples. Just maybe the phrase "this generation" was spoken by Jesus in an end times context.


Anonymous said...

that is a really stupid argument

PWTribune said...

That was, like wow, a super intelligent answer. How about you explain why it's stupid in order to prove/defend your preterism?

Nathan said...

I'd call it a pretty good argument; it's an angle I've never thought of.

Anonymous: grow up

Dave Lewerenz said...

Actually, the preterists interpret literally and figuratively depending on the event that is being talked about...

Consider just 1 verse that I read and made me start to study and pray alot more over their position:

Matthew 10:23

23When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will NOT finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

The context is Jesus warning His 12 disciples of soon coming persecution.

Unless those 12 disciples are still alive and haven't finished preaching the Kingdom of God to all the towns in Israel... that's the only way to determine that Christ's Parousia (Greek) hasn't yet happened.

Ahhh, many mysteries in the Bible :)

PWTribune said...

Dave L,

I assume you're applying the "Parousia" in Matt 24 to this "Parousia" you're speaking of. That makes it a bit tricky for you. Yes, many mysteries. :)