Home>Alfred Edersheim

Alfred Edersheim

Vicar of Lodera, Dorsetahire
Curate of the Abbey Church, Christchurch, Hants
Oxford Lecturer, Select Preacher to the University,
Grinfield Lecturer on the Septuagint.

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Sketches of Jewish Social Life | Edersheim on Matthew 24 – Mauro’s “Seventy Weeks” | Brief Outline of Ancient Jewish Theological Literature | The Temple Ministry and Services at the Time of Jesus | Jewish Social Life in the Days of Christ | Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah | Schaff – Edersheim | Biography

Preterist Commentaries By Historical Preterism

(On John 21:22)
As He spake them, He joined the symbolic action to His ‘Follow Me.’ This command, and the encouragement of being in death literally made like Him — following Him — were Peter’s best strength. He obeyed ; but as he turned to do so, he saw another following. As St. John himself puts it, it seems almost to convey that he had longed to share Peter’s call, with all that it implied. For, St. John speaks of himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved, and he reminds us that in that night of betrayal he had been specially a sharer with Peter, nay, had spoken what the other had silently asked of him. Was it impatience, was it a touch of the old Peter, or was it a simple inquiry of brotherly interest which prompted the question, as he pointed to John : ‘ Lord — and this man, what ? ‘ Whatever had been the motive, to him, as to us all, when, perplexed about those who seem to follow Christ, we ask it — sometimes in bigoted narrowness, sometimes in ignorance, folly, or jealousy — is this the answer : ‘What is that to thee ? follow thou Me.’ For John also had his lifework for Christ. It was to ‘tarry while He was coming ‘ — to tarry those many years in patient labour, while Christ was coming.

But what did it mean ? The saying went abroad among the brethren that John was not to die, but to tarry till Jesus came again to reign, when death would be swallowed up in victory. But Jesus had not so said, only : ‘If I will that he tarry while I am coming.’ What that ‘Coming’ was, Jesus had not said, and John knew not. So, then, there are things, and connected with His Coming, on which Jesus has left the veil, only to be lifted by His Own Hand — which He means us not to know at present, and which we should be content to leave as He has left them.” (The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, p. 651)

(On The Early Date of Revelation)
“the Book of Revelation and the Fourth Gospel must have been written before the Temple services had actually ceased.” (pp.141f.)

(On The Significance of A.D.70)
“With what reverence the Rabbis guarded their Temple will be described in the sequel. The readers of the New Testament know how readily any supposed infringement of its sanctity led to summary popular vengeance. To the disciples of Jesus it seemed difficult to realize that such utter ruin as their Master foretold could so soon come over that beautiful and glorious house. It was the evening of the day in which He had predicted the utter desolation of Jerusalem. All that day He had taught in the Temple, and what He had said, not only there, but when, on beholding the city, He wept over it, seems to have filled their minds alike with awe and with doubt. And now He, with His disciples, had “departed from the Temple.” Once more they lingered in sweet retirement “on the Mount of Olives.” (Matthew 24:13)

“Then it was and there that the disciples, looking down upon the Temple, pointed out to the Master: “What manner of stones and what buildings are here.” The view from that site must have rendered belief in the Master’s prediction even more difficult and more sad. A few years more, and it was all literally fulfilled! It may be, as Jewish tradition has it, that ever since the Babylonish captivity the “Ark of the Covenant” lies buried and concealed underneath the wood-court at the north-eastern angle of the Court of the Women. And it may be that some at least of the spoils which Titus carried with him from Jerusalem — the seven-branched candlestick, the table of shewbread, the priests’ trumpets, and the identical golden mitre which Aaron had worn on his forehead — are hidden somewhere in the vaults beneath the site of the Temple, after having successively gone to Rome, to Carthage, to Byzantium, to Ravenna, and thence to Jerusalem. But of “those great buildings” that once stood there, there is “not left one stone upon another” that has not been “thrown down.” (p. 45)

(On Matthew 24:15)
“The Lord proceeds, in the third part of this discourse, to advertise the disciples of the great historic fact immediately before them, and of the dangers which would spring from it. In truth we have here His answer to their question ‘when shall these things be?’ And with this He conjoins the (then) present application of His warning regarding false Christs (given in verses 4, 5). The fact of which He now advertises them is the destruction of Jerusalem. It will be observed that the question, When shall these things be? is directly answered by the words, When ye shall see” (#Mt 24:15 Lu. 21:20).

This, together with tribulation to Israel, unparalleled in the terrible past of its history, and unequalled even in its bloody future was about to befall them. Nay, so dreadful would be the persecution that, if Divine mercy had not interposed for the sake of the followers of Christ, the whole Jewish race that inhabited the land would have been swept away. There should have been no flesh saved.” (Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, two-volume ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, [1883] 1971) 2:449)

(On Matthew 24:32,33)
“From the fig tree, under which on that spring afternoon they may have rested, they were to learn a parable. We can picture Christ taking one of its twigs, just as its softening tips were bursting into young leaf. Surely this meant that summer was nigh–not that it had actually come. The distinction is important; for it seems to prove that ‘all these things’ which were to indicate to them that ‘it’ was ‘near, even at the doors,’ and which were to be fulfilled ere ‘this generation’ had passed away, could not have referred to the last signs connected with the advent of Christ, but must apply to the previous prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Jewish commonwealth.   This too is a very simple and satisfactory explanation of the words, This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled. If those words be taken as His answer to the question, When shall these things be? (v. 3), they are easy of interpretation; but if their application be postponed to the far off future they present much difficulty. For example, thus to postpone their application would make the Lord contradict His positive and most emphatic statement that no signs would precede and give warning of His second advent. “

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26 Apr 2004


Some of his works are available at www.studylight.org. Also, to anyone studying Seventh Day Adventism, please be aware that most of Ellen White’s “Conflict of the Ages” series is direct plagiarism of Edersheim’s works.