Jay Adams Study Archive

They have carefully restudied Matthew 24 and the parallel passages in the other gospels and are now convinced that much of what they once referred to as a “great tribulation” immediately prior to the second coming, rightly pertains to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Jay E. Adams

Director of Advanced Studies at Westminster Theological Seminary | Dean of the Institute of Pastoral Studies at the Christian Counseling and Education Center | Competent to Counsel, The Christian Counselor’s Manual | The Biblical View of Self-Esteem and Self-Image

(On The Coming of Christ)
“If you look carefully, you’ll see that the warnings that Christ’s kingdom could come at any time, day or night, in their lifetime had to do with the Destruction of Jerusalem rather than the second coming. And, of course, it happened in that Generation, as Jesus said it would. They were to look for it—but would not be told the exact time it would occur.” (http://www.nouthetic.org/blog/?p=1134)

(On John 14:1-3)
“But apart from the textual matter, it is plain that on this occasion Jesus left the disciples while blessing them. The return these two passages speak about (Luke 24:5051) would not be primarily a return in judgment but a return of blessing. In every way, then, the “manner” of coming back to judge Jerusalem in 70 AD and Christ’s future return to bless His people. are plainly differentiate. Nothing about the Judgment Coming and the Second Coming described by Luke is identical.” pg.15-16 (Preterism: Unorthodox or Orthodox?, p. 16)

(On 1 Peter 4:7)
“In six or seven years from the time of writing, the overthrow of Jerusalem, with all its tragic stories, as foretold in the book of Revelation and in the Olivet Discourse upon which that part is based, would take place. Titus and Vespasian would wipe out the old order once and for all. All those forces that led to the persecution and exile of these Christians in Asia Minor—the temple ceremonies (outdated by Christ’s death), Pharisaism (with its distortion of the O.T. law into a system of works-righteousness) and the political stance of Palestinian Jewry toward Rome—would be erased. The Roman armies would wipe Jewish opposition from the face of the land. Those who survived the holocaust of A.D. 70 would themselves be dispersed around the Mediterranean world. “So,” says Peter, “hold on; the end is near.” The full end of the O.T. order (already made defunct by the cross and the empty tomb) was about to occur.” (Trust and Obey: A Practical Commentary on First Peter (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1978), 130)

(On The Millennium)
“In fact, apart from the twentieth chapter of Revelation, they (former premillennialists) wonder how anyone could come to the premillennial viewpoint at all.  They freely admit that this one chapter is the sole basis for their belief.  They have begun to demand that certain assumptions be proved.  They ask, for instance, where biblical warrant may be found for identifying scores of Old Testament prophecies with the 1000-year period mentioned (but not described) in Revelation 20.  They no longer can agree to the exploded “postponement theory,” and having rejected that pillar of the dispensational system for the first time, they are able to see that Daniel’s seventieth week (Daniel 9) is not paranthetically separated from the other sixty-none by the church age, but was fulfilled in the time of Christ.  They have carefully restudied Matthew 24 and the parallel passages in the other gospels and are now convinced that much of what they once referred to as a “great tribulation” immediately prior to the second coming, rightly pertains to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.  With this, the entire matter of a future tribulation and Antichrist is brought in question.” (The Time is at Hand, p. 3)

“What is the meaning of Revelation 22:6,10? Have these things been largely fulfilled or should we be looking for them in the future? In this classic work Jay Adams faithfully follows such biblical time markers, along with Revelation’s angelic interpretations and its historical context. These lead us to a clear and satisfying understanding of the major themes of the book of Revelation.”  (The Time is At Hand Jacket)

(On Full Preterism)
“Frost goes on to write, “If the Second Coming really did occur in A.D.70, does this damage the integrity of the church, he history and her claim to know the truth?”  The (Orthodox Preterist) answer?  Absolutely.   The vast majority of biblical exegetes have clearly taught the doctrines that (Unorthodox Preterists) reject.  If UPs are correct, it would mean that the Bible-believing church would have been deluded or deceived for most of its history, and Christians would have truly entertained a “misplaced hope.” (Preterism: Orthodox or Unorthodox, pp. 2,3)

“Because UPs are right in many of their interpretations, and because in these they have good exegesis on their side, they have become cocky about the interpretation of other passages in which they show shoddy and forced exegesis to support untenable teachings.” (Preterism: Orthodox or Unorthodox, p. 4)

“Frost’s analysis of the church fathers’ beliefs is helpful.  On the whole, he correctly sets forth their eschatological viewpoints.   At times he may read too much into a portion of their works, but that is rare.  Yet, after this useful scholarly work which he has done, at the end he sides with Origen (who was noted for his extravagant allegorizing) in his fanciful interpretation of 1 Corinthians 15:35,38.. After saying that Origen’s interpretation of the passage was “correct,” he comments, “Paul mentions two bodies here, one sown, and another given, Adam’s body and Christ’s body.  The ‘body’ then that all Christians are raised in is Christ’s.”  Of course, in I Corinthians Paul is speaking of physical bodily death and resurrection.  He is not speaking of the church, the body of Christ.  That Frost finds his interpretation questionable and out of line with Paul’s thought may be indicated by his including the word body in quotation marks.  If he does not feel uncomfortable in agreeing with Origen about this matter, he ought to.  To deny the bodily resurrection from the grave, it seems that he found it necessary to grasp at this fanciful interpretation as an expedient.” (ibid., pp. 6,7)

(On J.S. Russell)
“Yet when Russell comes to the great commission, because of his desire to fit all of the pieces, he must interpret the word “nations” as “tribes” in Palestine!  There is no warrant for doing this other than to save his view from being shattered by a passage that really doesn’t fit into it.” (Preterism: Orthodox or Unorthodox?, p. 6)

Kenneth Gentry
“Historical Survey – Many mistakenly assume that evangelical preterism burst upon the eschatological scene through Reconstructionist publications, such as Chilton’s The Great Tribulation (1987), my The Beast of Revelation (1989), and DeMar’s Last Days Madness (1991) (all were former students of Bahnsen at Reformed Theological Seminary in the 1970s). Actually amillennialist Jay Adams’ The Time is at Hand (1966) was an (early) important seminal text that helped spark the (later) preterist revolution. It was even used by Bahnsen at RTS in his “History and Eschatology” course. Other pre-resurgence books include Campbell’s Israel and the New Covenant(1954), Kik’s The Eschatology ofVictory (1975), and Cornelis Vanderwaal’s Search the Scriptures (1978).” (Recent Developments)

Mark Horne
“While there are many people who argue for the preterist position, including Jay Adams, David Chilton, Gary DeMar, Ken Gentry, and James B. Jordan, it is especially notable that N. T. Wright also argues for preterism. Wright is notable because he is not primarily a theologian but is an apologist defending the historicity of Jesus in secular academic circles. In doing so, he does much to vindicate the historical Jesus not only from liberals, but from orthodox conservatives as well. He must show how it is credible to believe that a first-century Palestinian Jew did and said what the gospels assert that He did and said.” (Why Side with the Sadducees)

Timothy James
“Truly, Henry Hammond was in his own way a peacemaker. He was the theologian who rallied Anglicans less willing to compromise with the Puritan rulers of England, and was the spiritual leader of his circle (Pearson, Thorndike). It was a real tragedy for the Church of England that he died prematurely, shortly before the Restoration movement began. Yet he did not die without attempting to expound a very unpopular Preterist interpretation. Indeed, he saw that the key to explaining the Apocalypse was inherent in the literal historical expression, “Things which must shortly come to pass” (Rev. 1:1-3).  Modern reformed expositors of Revelation, like Jay Adams, have also noticed this key. Adams even shows that Calvin was preterist in several respects. (Adams, Jay E., The Time is At Hand. (1977), p. 709) ” (Preterist Eschatology)

John MacArthur 
“One of the most encouraging trends in contemporary evangelicalism is the emergence of Biblical counseling (as opposed to so-called ‘Christian’ psychology). Several excellent books have been recently been written to expose the deficiencies of the psychological approach to Christian counseling. Jay Adams first warned of these dangers more than twenty years ago. No one has written more clearly or spoken with more insight on this issue. The entire church owes Jay a tremendous debt of gratitude for the work he has done to uphold Godliness and spiritual wisdom against the onslaught of secular theory and worldly wisdom. If you’re seeking to understand how to counsel more effectively, I commend this seminar to you.”


A native of Baltimore, Jay E. Adams now resides in Spartanburg County, near Woodruff, South Carolina. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where he majored in Greek and received the A.B. degree. He earned a B.D. from the Reformed Episcopal Seminary, the S.T.M from the Temple University School of Theology in Homiletics under Andrew W. Blackwood, and the Ph.D from the University of Missouri. He also did graduate work at the Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Seminary and held a post-doctoral fellowship in Psychology at the University of Illinois under O. Hobart Mowrer.

Dr. Adams has pastored churches in Western Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the old United Presbyterian Church, the Reformed Presbyterian Church, E.S., and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He is now an ordained Associate Reformed Presbyterian minister. For three years he was on the faculty of the University of Missouri, where he taught speech. He taught homiletics, counseling, and pastoral work in Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia from 1963-1983. He is the Founder of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation of Laverock, Pennsylvania, and has edited The Journal of Pastoral Practice, the Foundation’s quarterly publication. He is a past president of the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors. For 7 1/2 years, he was Director of Advanced Studies at Westminster Theological Seminary in Escondido, California where he developed and taught in the Doctor of Ministry program. He also traveled for the seminary teaching Continuing Education programs in preaching and counseling. Together with his son-in-law, William Slattery, he has started, and is now pastored, The Harrison Bridge Road A.R.P. Church, a congregation in Simpsonville, South Carolina. he is now Editor-in-chief of Timeless Texts, A publisher dedicated to publishing Biblical books.

Adams is a frequent lecturer at ministerial conferences both here and abroad. He has taught in England, France, Holland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, N. Ireland, South Africa, Canada, Brazil, Guatemala, New Zealand, Austria, North Korea, and China. He has published over 60 books including Competent to Counsel; The Christian Counselor’s Manual; A Theology of Christian Counseling; Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible; Christian Living in the Home; Shepherding God’s Flock; Preaching with Purpose; Solving Marriage Problems; The Handbook of Church Discipline; How to Help People Change; The Biblical View of Self-Esteem; Self-Love and Self-Image; A call to Discernment; The War Within; The Grand Demonstration; A Thirst for Wholeness; The Christian’s Guide To Guidance and Wrinkled But Not ruined. He is also the translator of The Christian Counselor’s New Testament. he recently completed the ten volume Christian Counselor’s Commentary Series. His books have been translated into 14 languages.

Dr. Adams has four children and his wife’s name is Betty Jane.

Date: 21 Apr 2007
Time: 05:18:26

I was enthusiastic when I received as a gift Adams’ pamphlet, “Preterism: Orthodox or Unorthodox.” That enthusiasn lasted for about 19 pages. It was on page 19 that Adams’ allowed his presuppositions to offer a spurious (albeit possible) interpretation of Paul’s use of “we” in Thessalonians. One need only read Ridderbos’ “Paul: An Outline of his Theology” (pp 489ff)to see a contrary view. Further on in the study, this writer (me), finds Adams’ recapitulating many of the weaker arguments against (not only full-preterism) typical to reformed dogmatics (“When Shall These Things Be?”). This is a very complicated and humbling endeavour: to understand how the NT applies Jesus’ words to his generation and how that word is carried over into the new age. May we do so with all the proper contrition and deference owed each other in the body of Christ, World Without End, Amen.

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