John Locke

Paraphrase and Notes on Galatians

Annotations on the New Testament: Compiled from the Best Critical Authorities (1829) | History of New Testament Research: Michaelis / Grotius / Lightfoot / Whitby / Locke / Eichhorn

Preterist Commentaries By Historical Preterism

(On Romans 9:22)
“The apostle, by the instance of a potter’s power over his clay, having demonstrated, that God, by his dominion and sovereignty, had a right to set up or pull down what nation he pleased, and might, without any injustice, take one race into his particular favor, to be his peculiar people, or reject them, as he thought fit, — does, in this verse, apply it to the subject in hand, viz., the casting off the Jewish nation, whereof he speaks here, in terms that plainly make a parallel between this and his dealing with the Egyptians mentioned, ver. 17,’ &c.” (Rom. 9:21, Note in loc.)

(On Galatians 4:25,26 ; The End of the ‘World’)
The He might take us out of this present evil world, or age, so the Greek words signify. Whereby it cannot be thought that St. Paul meant that Christians were to be immediately removed into the other world. Therefore it must signify something else than present world in the ordinary import of those words in English. 
Aiwnoj toutou, 1 Cor. ii. 6,8, and in other places, plainly signifies the Jewish nation under the Mosaical constitution; and it suits very well with the apostle’s design in this epistle that it should do so here. God has in this world but one kingdom and one people. The nation of the Jews were the kingdom and people of God whilst the law stood. And this kingdom of God under the Mosaical constitution was called aiwnoj toutouthis age, or, as it is commonly translated, this world, to which aiwnoj enestwtoj, the present world, or age, here answers. But the kingdom of God which was to be under the Messiah, wherein the economy and constitution of the Jewish Church, and the nation itself, that in opposition to Christ adhered to it, was to be laid aside, is in the New Testament called aivwvn mevllwn, the world, or age, to come; so that Christ’s taking them out of the present world, may, without any violence to the words, be understood to signify His setting them free from the Mosaical constitution.” (Paraphrase and Notes on Galatians)

(On Ephesians 2:2 and the word ‘aeon’ – gr. ai,w.n ; The End of the ‘World’)
“aion (aeon) may be observed in the New Testament to signify the lasting state and constitution of things in the great tribes or collections of me, considered in reference to the kingdom of God: whereof there were two most eminent, and principally intended, if I mistake not, by the word aionos, when that is used alone, and that it is, this present world, which is taken for that state of the world wherein the children of Israel were His people and made up his kingdom upon earth; the Gentiles, that is, all the other nations of the world, being in a state of apostasy and revolt from Him, and 
aivwvn mevllwn, the world to come, that is, the time of the Gospel, wherein God, by Christ, broke down the partition wall between Jew and Gentile, and opened a way for the reconciling the rest of mankind and taking the Gentiles again into His kingdom under Jesus Christ, under whose rule He had put it.” (Notes on Eph. ii.2)

(On Ephesians 2:9,10)
“That St. Paul should use ‘heaven’ and ‘earth’ for Jews and Gentiles will not be thought so very strange if we consider that Daniel himself expresses the nation of the Jews by the name of ‘heaven’ (Dan. viii. 10). Nor does he want an example of it in our Saviour Himself, who (Luke xxi. 26) by “powers of heaven” plainly signifies the great men of the Jewish nation. Nor is this the only place in the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians which will bear this interpretation of heaven and earth. He who shall read the first fifteen verses of chap. iii. and carefully weigh the expressions, and observe the drift of the apostle in them, will not find that he does manifest violence to St. Paul’s sense if he understand by “The family in heaven and earth” (ver. 15) the united body of Christians, made up of Jews and Gentiles, living still promiscuously among those twp sorts of people who continueds in their unbelief. However, this interpretation I am not positive in , but offer it as matter of inquiry to those who think and impartial search into the true meaning of the Sacred Scriptures the best employment of all the time they have.” (Ephesians, in loc.)

(On I Corinthians 10:11, Ephesians 1:21 and the word ‘aeon’ – gr. ai,w.nThe End of the ‘World’)
“It may be worth while to consider whether aionos (aeon) hath not ordinarily a more natural signification in the New Testament by standing for a considerable length of time, passing under some one remarkable dispensation.” (Notes on I Cor 10:11)

“That the Apostle looked on the coming of Christ as not far off, appears by what he says, 1 Thess. iv. 15. and v. 6. which Epistle was written some years before this.   See also to the same purpose, 1 Cor. i.7. and vii. 29,31. and x. 11. Rom. xiii. 11, 12.  Heb. x. 37” (Quoted in Nisbett, p.7)

(On the Audience Relevance of the Epistles)
‘The nature of epistolary writings, in general disposes the writer to pass by the mention of many things, well known to him to whom this letter is addressed, which are necessary to be laid open to a stranger, to make him comprehend what is said. And it not seldom falls out, that a well-penned letter, which is very easy and intelligible to the receiver, is very obscure to a stranger, who hardly knows what to make of it. The matters that St. Paul write about, were certainly things well known to those he writ to, and which they had some peculiar concern in; which made them easily apprehend his meaning and see the tendency and force of his discourse. But we, having now at this distance, no information of the occasion of his writing, little or no knowledge of the temper and circumstances of those he writ to, were in, but what is to be gathered from the epistles themselves; it is not strange, that many things in them lie concealed to us, which, no doubt, they who were concerned in the letter, understood at first sight. Add to this that in many places, ’tis manifest, he answers letters sent, and questions proposed to him, which if we had would much better clear those passages that relate to them than all the learned notes of critics and commentators, who in after-times, fill us with their conjectures, for very often, as to the matter in hand, they are nothing else” (Preface to his Paraphrase on the Epistles.)

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