Hermeneutical Principles
“The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63

“Armageddon Now” Theology & Christian Zionist Politics
Pro-Dispensationalism | Dispensationalist Dementia


STUDY ARCHIVESAmillennialism Apocalyptic | Christian Zionism Dispensationalism Eschatology | Hermeneutics | Historicism | Idealism | Millennial Reign of Christ | Preterism | New Covenant Theology | Postmillennialism | Premillennialism | Pre-Tribulational Rapture | Reconstructionism | “Seventy Weeks” | Parousia | Universalism | J.N. Darby | Jerry Falwell | Thomas Ice | Tim LaHaye | Hal Lindsey | C.I. Scofield | Jack and Rexella Van Impe | John F. Walvoord | Christian Zionism and Salvation for the Jews | Philip Mauro: The Gospel of the Kingdom & The Hope of Israel

Are you a Christian Zionist?  Take the litmus test: “Do you believe that the modern state of Israel is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy?”
Christian Zionism: The Tragedy and The Turning | How Evangelicals Became Israel’s Best Friend

“the Preteristic method of interpretation has a long history” – Dennis M. Swanson

Apocalyptic | How Prophecies of Israel Interpreted by Paul | Principles that should Govern in the Interpretation of Prophecy Augustine on Spiritual Hermeneutic | Four Major Schools | What is New Covenant Theology? | Cassian on Spiritual Knowledge | Newton on the Prophetic LanguageBiblical Apocalyptics | Does Dispensationalism Use a Literal Hermeneutic? | Biblical Hermeneutics | Terry’s Biblical Hermeneutics | Recovering the Material World of the Early Christians

  • 3/26/9: James Enfrid: The New Testament Writings (1980) / Front Cover “One of the most important categories, if not THE most important category, is that body of literature known as “apocalyptic.” (p. 14)

  • Jerry Jenkins more than the Apocalypse – “If we believe that the prophecy in the Old Testament of the coming of Christ was fulfilled literally, why shouldn’t we believe other prophecies about his return shouldn’t be taken literally?” Jenkins says. But even Jenkins points out there are limits to Biblical literalism. “The Bible says Jesus is going to slay his enemies with a sword that comes out of his mouth,” he says. “We don’t believe there’s an actual sword in his mouth. That’s clearly a reference to his word.”

Preterist Commentaries

George Fox
“. it be a certain truth, that none can understand [the prophets’ and apostles’] writings aright, without the same Spirit by which they were written.
(The Journal of George Fox)

Carroll D. Osbourne (1979)
“Some treat the New Testament as though it was only an encyclopedia to which one can turn for verses to back up points of doctrine.  While doctrine must be Biblically derived, this piecemeal ‘proof-texting’ method unfortunately distorts texts with appalling frequency and stems from an unhealthy dogmatism.” (“Back to the Bible,” Alternative 5, (Spring, 1979: 16)

Paul Pollard (1998)
“A good rule of thumb is ‘no text can mean today what it never meant to the original readers.” (“How does the Scripture Speak to our lives?” in Theology Matters: Answers for the Church Today, Joplin, MO: College Press, 1998, p. 155)

Preterist Commentaries By Historicist / Continuists

“We thus learn that the things prepared by God for the coming age, which are “for our glory,” are “spiritual things.”  And not only are they spiritual things, but they are communicated by means of “spiritual words”; and they must be “spiritually discerned”.”

St. Thomas Aquinas
“Article 10: Whether the same passage of holy scripture can have several senses. Thus we proceed to the tenth point. It seems that the same passage of holy scripture cannot have several senses, namely the historical or literal, the allegorical, the tropological or moral, and the anagogical. Multiple senses in scripture prepare the way for confusion and deception. They also compromise coherent reasoning. From several propositions there results, not an argument, but a collection of fallacies. Sacred scripture, however, should display the truth without any fallacy whatsoever. Thus there should not be several senses in the same passage.

“The scripture which is called ‘The Old Testament’ has a fourfold meaning, namely history, etiology, analogy and allegory.” These four seem inconsistent with the aforementioned. Thus it does not seem fitting that the same passage of sacred scripture should be exposited according to the four aforementioned senses.” (Source)

Martin Luther
“In Romans 7, St. Paul says, “The law is spiritual.” What does that mean? If the law were physical, then it could be satisfied by works, but since it is spiritual, no one can satisfy it unless everything he does springs from the depths of the heart. But no one can give such a heart except the Spirit of God, who makes the person be like the law, so that he actually conceives a heartfelt longing for the law and henceforward does everything, not through fear or coercion, but from a free heart.” (“
 Preface to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans“)

Philip Mauro
“”We thus learn that the things prepared by God for the coming age, which are “for our glory,” are “spiritual things.”  And not only are they spiritual things, but they are communicated by means of “spiritual words”; and they must be “spiritually discerned”.”  (
CHAPTER SEVEN – God’s Pilgrims)

Isaac Newton
“I observe that Christ and His forerunner John in their parabolic discourses were wont to allude to things present. The old prophets, when they would describe things emphatically, did not only draw parables from things which offered themselves, as from the rent of a garment, … from the vessels of a potter, … but also, when such objects were wanting, they supplied them by their own actions, as by rending a garment, … by shooting, … etc. By such types the prophets loved to speak. And Christ, being endued with a nobler prophet spirit than the rest, excelled also in this kind of speaking, yet so as not to speak by His own actions — [which would have been] less grave and decent — but to turn into parables such things as offered themselves. On occasion of the harvest approaching, He admonishes His disciples once and again of the spiritual harvest. Seeing the lilies of the field, He admonishes His disciples about clothing. In allusion to the present season of fruits, He admonishes His disciples about knowing men by their fruits. In the time of the Passover, when trees put forth their leaves, He bids His disciples, “learn a parable from the fig-tree”. (
Sir Isaac Newton, Commentary on Daniel)

William Warburton
The prophecy of Jesus, concerning the approaching destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, is conceived in such high and swelling terms, that not only the modern interpreters, but the ancient likewise, have supposed, that our Lord interweaves into it a direct prediction of his second coming to judgment.” 

“This therefore being one of the most important eras in the economy of grace, and the most awful revolution in all God’s religious dispensations ; we see the elegance and propriety of the terms in question, to denote so great an event, together with the destruction of Jerusalem, by which it was effected : for in the whole prophetic language, the change and fall of principalities and powers, whether spiritual or civil, are signified by the shaking of heaven and earth, the darkening the sun and moon, and the falling of the stars; as the rise and establishment of new ones are by processions in the clouds of heaven, by the sound of trumpets, and the assembling together of hosts and congregations.’ (Warburton’s Julian, book 1, chap. 1, p. 21, &c. 2nd edit.)

“that this language was borrowed from the antient hieroglyphics: for as in hieroglyphic writing, the sun, moon, and stars were used to represent states and empires, kings, queens, and nobility; their eclipse and extinction, temporary disasters, or entire overthrow, &c. so in like manner, the holy prophets call kings and empires by the names of the heavenly luminaries; their misfortunes and overthrow are represented by eclipses and extinction; stars falling from the firmament are employed to denote the destruction of the nobility, &c. In a word, the prophetic stile seems to be a speaking hieroglyphic. These observations will not only assist us in the study of the Old and New Testaments, but likewise vindicate their character frin the illiterate cavils of modern libertines, who have foolishly mistaken that for the peculiar workmanship of the prophets’ heated imagination, which was the sober, established language of their times, and which God and his Son condescended to employ as the roperest conveyance of the high, mysterious ways of Providence in the revelation of themselves to mankind.” )Warburton’s Divine Legation, vol. ii, book sect. 4.)


Preterist Commentaries from Modern Preterism


Gary DeMar (2002)
“Reading modern-day concepts, whether scientific, geographical, or academic,
2 back into the Bible can cause insurmountable interpretive problems. For example, how many times have you heard a minister claim that the gospel is like “dynamite”? The comparison is made because the Greek word dunamis, translated “power” (Rom. 1:16), is the same word Alfred Nobel chose in 1866 to name his explosive concoction. Since “power” and “dynamite” share the same Greek word (dunamis), the New Testament use of “power” must share the characteristics of dynamite. D.A. Carson describes this as “an appeal to a kind of reverse etymology,”3 reading modern definitions of words back into ancient writings. The effects of dynamite were unknown by the New Testament writers. Paul was not thinking of exploding sticks of dynamite when he used dunamis to describe the power of the gospel any more than he was thinking about the power expended when the Space Shuttle takes off from Cape Canaveral. Our understanding of the biblical use of dunamis has to be understood in terms of how it was understood in Paul’s day. “[Gordon] Fee and [Douglas] Stuart rightly emphasize that ‘the true meaning of the biblical text for us is what God originally intended it to mean when it was first spoken.’4 We must first determine what a text meant ‘in their town’ before we can determine what it means and how we should apply that meaning to our own time and culture. – 3. See D.A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1996), 34. 4. Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth: A Guide to Understanding the Bible, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1993), 26.” (The Gospel Preached to All the World in Part Two)

Milton Terry (1898)
“In the systematic presentation, therefore, of any scriptural doctrine, we are always to make a discriminating use of sound hermeneutical principles. We must not study them in the light of modern systems of divinity, but should aim rather to place ourselves in the position of the sacred writers, and study to obtain the impression their words naturally have made upon the minds of the first readers.” (Milton S. Terry, Biblical Apocalyptics: A Study of the Most Notable Revelations of God and of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, [1898] 1988), 233.)

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