John Calvin

John Calvin

That the Roman Power took away the Daily Sacrifice, and cast down the place of its Sanctuary, it is impossible to doubt.   Titus, during the reign of his father Vespasian desolated Jerusalem by destroying both the City and the Sanctuary


John Calvin
1509 – 1564

But we are now treating of a profanation of the temple, which should prove, if I may use the phrase, eternal and irreparable. Without the slightest doubt, this prophecy was fulfilled when the city was captured and overthrown, and the temple utterly destroyed by Titus the son of Vespasian. This satisfactorily explains the events here predicted.

“Our readers will remember, that as an expositor of prophecy, Calvin is a Praeterist, and that his general system of interpretation is as remote from the year-day theory of Birks, Faber, and others, as from the futurist speculations of Maitland, Tyso, and Todd. Notwithstanding the disagreement between these Lectures and the writings of Birks, we strongly recommend their perusal by every student who would become thoroughly proficient in the prophecies of Daniel. The first step towards progress, is to surrender all our preconceived notions, and to prepare for the possibility of their vanishing away before the force of sanctified reason and all-pervading truth.” (Calvin was a Preterist)


  • Calvin’s Commentaries on the Whole Bible – He makes hence a transition to another exhortation, that we are to lay hold on that kingdom which cannot be shaken; for the Lord shakes us for this end, that he may really and forever establish us in himself.
  • 1555: John Calvin, The Seventh Sermon upon the first Chapter of Deuteronomie
  • 1555: John Calvin, Harmony on the Evangelists –  He makes hence a transition to another exhortation, that we are to lay hold on that kingdom which cannot be shaken; for the Lord shakes us for this end, that he may really and forever establish us in himself.


  • 1833: David Thom, Calvinism Identified with Universalism, V1 | V2 (PDF)
  • 1852: Calvin was a Preterist — According to his Translator – Calvin, then, was, on the whole, a Preterist. He saw in the history of the world before the times of the Messiah the fulfillment of the Visions of this Book. They extended from Nebuchadnezzar to Nero.
  • 1855: G.L. Stone, The Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy – Readers of the following pages who are acquainted with the works of the late Dr. Samuel Lee, on Prophecy, will recognise his views, and sometimes his language. Where the author differs from him, on questions connected with this subject, this will be pointed out, and the reasons given. It may as well be stated also here, that the Professor appears to have been more indebted to Calvin than he seemed to be aware of; while the valuable labours of Grotius and Hammond — indeed, it may be added, of Bossuet and Calmet—immensely helped towards the same conclusion.
  • 1890: C.H. Spurgeon, Commenting and Commentaries – Of all commentators I believe John Calvin to be the most candid
  • 1994: Sang Hwan Lee, The revelation of the Triune God in the theologies of John Calvin and Karl Barth (pdf)
  • 2001: H.L. Nigro, Response to the Preterist Position as Outlined in Sproul – Early historians report that false messiahs were epidemic in the first century. For example, John Calvin wrote, “for shortly after Christ’s resurrection, there arose imposters, every one of whom professed to be the Christ…Josephus tells us `the country was full of robbers, magicians, false prophets, false Messiahs, and impostors, who deluded the people with promises of great events.
  • 2002: Parnell McCarter, Questions That Should Be Asked of Preterists  – John Calvin offers a most insightful explanation of this 490 year period prophesied in Daniel, which he views as expiring in the years immediately following Christ’s resurrection. Here is an extended excerpt
  • 2004: Glen Kreider, Jonathan Edwards’s Interpretation of Revelation 4:1-8:1 – David Holwerda notes that “even when a prophecy points to a final future event in the eyes of most interpreters, Calvin usually insists that it is already being fulfilled.. The millennial belief assumes that Christ will reign visibly on the not-yet-renewed earth for a limited period of time. But Calvin believes that the perfected kingdom already exists in Christ, that it is eternal and includes the renovation of the world. Consequently, Christ’s visible appearance can mean only the final revelation of a perfected kingdom.”
  • 2008: Jay Rogers, In the Days of These Kings – The Book of Daniel in Preterist Perspective – Obviously Calvin was a preterist with respect to Daniel. | At Google Books
  • 2012: John MacArthur, Calvinism, Prophecy, and Premillennialism – Though Calvin strongly advocated the literal approach, he was inconsistent in the application of that hermeneutic.