The Method of Presentation at PreteristArchive.com
By Todd Dennis (todd @ preteristarchive.com)
These classifications are the backbone of the entire PreteristArchive.com project. They are 15 years in the making, and are intended as the clearest and simplest means of distinguishing between all forms of preterist theology. The color key is a quick way to select the doctrinal material you desire, while avoiding that which you do not.
PreteristArchive.com Doctrinal Classes & Color Key AUTHOR CLASSIFICATIONS ARE GENERALLY BASED UPON AT WHAT POINT A “TRANSITION” IS SEEN FROM EVENTS OF THE FALL OF JERUSALEM IN AD70 TO EVENTS OF “THE FUTURE”
JEWISH SOURCES – Comments from Josephus, the Talmud, Midrashim, and Apocalyptic Literature. Contemporary Jewish literature is also collected under the classification. Though many early Christians are Jewish, they are classified under “Early Church”.
DEAD SEA SCROLLS – Materials Unearthed From Judean Wilderness (From roughly second century B.C. to A.D.68 – Color coded with Jewish Sources)
FUTURIST – A) Umbrella term covering all systems of nonfulfillment-based theology, including most contemporary forms of Historicism and Premillennialism, and some Postmillennialism. B) This class, though represented by authors throughout the centuries, wasn’t systematized until the Reformation era. C) Generally believes that some “end times” prophecy may have been fulfilled in the first century, but only in a typological sense, which foreshadowed ultimate fulfillment “in the future.” Dispensationalism specifically believes that “the rapture” might be any moment now, leading to the Great Tribulation and ultimately ushering in the Millennial Age.
EARLY CHURCH (EC) – A) Views espoused by all Christian sources during the first thousand years of church history, during which the only systematizing being done was in Catholic and Orthodox circles. B) This class includes all the earliest church fathers, historians and pseudepigraphic writers, dating back to the writings of the New Testament. C) Sources could be considered “Historicist” or “Futurist” but very rarely “Preterist” in any developed way (Eusebius would be the most likely to be considered Preterist) (Broadest in Years, Broadest in Doctrine – First Thousand Years of Church History – Pret-related comments color-coded with “Historical Preterism” due to similarities)
HISTORICAL PRETERISM (HP) – A) Umbrella term covering all those who believe that only a slight amount of Bible prophecy was totally fulfilled in the early centuries of the Christian era. Determined by looking at where authors find a “transition” from the past to the future using the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24/25 and the Apocalypse of John. B) This class has roots dating back to the first century, such as in the writings of Barnabus and Clement of Rome, and finds greater development in the writings of Justin Martyr and Eusebius. The Catholic and Orthodox churches maintained HP through the Middle Ages. Today’s contemporary forms were largely developed in the writings of Calvin, Luther, Grotius and Lightfoot. C) Teaches that some of the Bible’s “end times” prophecies were fulfilled by AD70, but that the substantial portion of prophetic fulfillment is yet to be revealed at the “last day.” Transitions in the Middle of Matthew 24, or in the Middle of the Apocalypse of John.
MODERN PRETERISM (MP) – A) Umbrella term covering all those who believe that the majority of Bible prophecy was totally fulfilled in the early centuries of the Christian era. Determined by looking at where authors find a “transition” from the past to the future using the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24/25 and the Apocalypse of John. Differs from Full Preterism in that it does not make the Parousia, the General Judgment, nor the General Resurrection events solely of the past. B) According to known literature, this class emerged during the Reformation or Counter Reformation and can be seen in a fully developed form at the beginning of the 17th century in the writings of the Jesuit Alcasar — although many believe that the “Preterist Assumption” seen throughout church history reveals the ancient and medieval equivalents of the Modern Preterist view. (perhaps systematized the most consistenty in 310 by Eusebiusin“Theophany“). C) Teaches that the bulk of “end times” prophecy has sole application to ancient Israel, but that some regards the “last day” — sometimes that “end” being personal, not global, in nature. Transitions somewhere in Matthew 25, or near the end of the Apocalypse of John.
FULL PRETERISM/“SYSTEMATIC HYPER PRETERISM” (HyP) = A) That view which makes AD70 the terminal date for certain key Bible prophecies. Includes, but is not limited to, all preterist views which declare that the consummation of the ages, and the utter terminal date for all Bible prophecy, in AD70. Included in the HyP classification is that view of “The Second and Only Coming of Jesus in AD70”. Those with dangerous doctrines based upon total AD70 fulfillment – such as Noyes – are likewise grouped in this classification. B) According to known literature, this system did not emerge until the middle of the 19th century, though individual HyP doctrines can be seen in the writings of earlier Preterist Universalists. The earliest known systematic Hyper Preterist book was written in 1845, though the author later abandoned the view. C) Believes that all Bible prophecy was totally fulfilled by AD70; or that the Parousia, General Judgment and General Resurrection were fulfilled then — which places this class outside of general church “orthodoxy.” (Narrowest Range in Time and Doctrine – Earliest Known Representatives, Townley (1845) and Desprez (1854), both left the view)
Warning: “Full Preterist” material is being archived for balanced representation of all Christian Preterist views, but its premise is deemed by the curator (a full preterist for over a decade) to be “toxic theology” and “Hyper Preterist”. Due to its brash and “letter-based” appeal to the flesh and “things seen,” it very subtly draws people away from the truth of the Spirit and His “unseen things” (core components of the system being extra-biblical history and logic — because there is not one full preterist verse which looks back to fulfillment in ad70, it is based entirely upon deductive reasoning). Please note that the earliest known adherents of full preterism later abandoned it, as have many contemporary former full peterists, including the curator of this archive. The main reason is a mishandling of the biblical types and shadows.. declaring them to instead be the substance to which they point! The “past spiritual resurrection” view is the theology that Paul condemned in II Timothy 2:17-18, and the cessationism of this view likewise overthrows the faith and hope of many — by doctrinal design — so please proceed with extreme caution. If you are interested in the doctrinal reasons why I left the view, see here – TD
DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY STANDARD FULL PRETERISM
All Bible Prophecy was Fulfilled By AD70
Atonement Incomplete at Cross ; Complete at AD70
The Supernatural Power of Evil Ended in AD70
The Spirit of Antichrist was Destroyed in AD70
“The Consummation of the Ages” Came in AD70
“The Millennium” is in the Past, From AD30 to AD70
Nothing to be Resurrected From in Post AD70 World ; Hades Destroyed
The Christian Age Began in AD70 ; Earth Will Never End
“The Day of the Lord” was Israel’s Destruction ending in AD70
The “Second Coming” of Jesus Christ Took Place in AD70-ish
The Great Judgment took place in AD70 ; No Future Judgment
The Law, Death, Sin, Devil, Hades, etc. Utterly Defeated in AD70
“The Resurrection” of the Dead and Living is Past, Having Taken Place in AD70
The Context of the Entire Bible is Pre-AD70 ; Not Written To Post AD70 World
DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY VARIOUS FORMS
Baptism was for Pre-AD70 Era (Cessationism)
The Lord’s Prayer was for Pre-AD70 Era (Cessationism)
The Lord’s Supper was for Pre-AD70 Era (Cessationism)
The Holy Spirit’s Paraclete Work Ceased in AD70 (Cessationism)
The Consummation in AD70 Caused Church Offices to Cease (Cessationism)
The Resurrection in AD70 Changed the “Constitutional Principle” of Marriage (Noyesism)
Israel and Humanity Delivered into Ultimate Liberty in AD70 (TransmillennialismTM)
The Judgment in AD70 Reconciled All of Mankind to God ; All Saved (Preterist Universalism)
Adam’s Sin No Longer Imputed in Post AD70 World ; No Need to be Born Again (Preterist Universalism)
When Jesus Delivered the Kingdom to the Father in AD70, He Ceased Being The Intermediary (Pantelism/Comprehensive Grace?)
The Book of Genesis is an Apocalypse; is About Creation of First Covenant Man, not First Historical Man (Covenantal Preterism)
PRETERIST-IDEALISM (PI, aka Modern Idealism) – A) Umbrella term covering those who see the true focus of Bible prophecy as the work of Jesus Christ throughout all ages. Historical fulfillments in the history of natural Israel – notably in the events of Moses’ and Jesus’ generations – are seen as the outward “typological” show of the everlasting work of Christ. B) Though Idealism has been taught by spiritually minded writers throughout the Christian era (such as the Allegorists, Quakers, Swedeborgians, Medieval Monks, and countless others), very seldom have forms utilizing a “Preterist modifier” been published. Saint Augustine is considered the father of Idealism, though systems anchored historically by the Preterist view are only now being developed among Modern Preterists. Those forms of Idealism without the “Preterist modifier” often qualify as Historicism or Futurism C) The spectrum of known systems range from those more heavily Idealist (looking to Christ for the substance of prophecy) to those more heavily Preterist (looking to history for the substance of prophecy). (Fundamentally neither preterist nor futurist ; PreteristArchive.com’s native approach ; More Information Here)