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Church History’s “Preterist Assumption”

No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:44

Preterist Kerygma: “The Fall of Jerusalem was the Vengeance of God Upon the Jewish Nation”
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John Owen
Dr. John Owen

‘It is evident, then, that in the prophetical idiom and manner of speech, by heavens and earth, the civil and religious state and combination of men in the world, and the men of them, were often understood. So were the heavens and earth that world which then was destroyed by the flood.”

Dead Sea Scroll CalvinismGolb: Excavations of Qumran support “Jerusalem Origin” instead of “Essene Origin” Theory – “Ever since the scrolls were first discovered in 1947, the Qumran-Essene theory—or as Golb has called it, “the myth of Qumran”—has taken on a life of its own and is still strongly defended by many.  Christian writers have been attracted to the mystique of the Essenes because of the connections they can draw between Essenic anti-materialistic beliefs and the teachings of Christianity, which discourage an interest in worldly wealth. The Essenes also espoused predestination, a belief adopted by Calvinists during the reformation in support of a biblical interpretation that some people are chosen by God for salvation, while others are not. Many Jewish scholars also have supported the Qumran-Essene theory.  This, as well as the large bulk of evidence that has accumulated now—which, Golb emphasized, the early researchers could not have foreseen—led him to infer that the scrolls were gathered in caves for safekeeping by the Jews of Jerusalem just prior to the Roman siege of 70 A.D. “


Chapter 33 of Westminster Confession, Question 90 of the Catechism  – “the (full Preterist) member must also be asked to sign an affirmation of Chapter XXXIII of the Westminster Confession of Faith and answer 90 of the Larger Catechism


Jonathan Edwards
“‘Tis evident that when Christ speaks of his coming; his being revealed; his coming in his Kingdom; or his Kingdom’s coming; He has respect to his appearing in those great works of his Power Justice and Grace, which should be in the Destruction of Jerusalem and other extraordinary Providences which should attend it.” 

Kenneth L. Gentry
“In fact, one of the finest intellects of the Westminster Assembly was a strong preterist: John Lightfoot..  This committed Lightfoot so strongly to preterism that he suggested Revelation’s overall theme is Israel’s judgment” 


John Calvin

  • Calvin is a Praeterist’ According to His Translators  – “Calvin, then, was, on the whole, a Prćterist. He saw 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.”

  • Calvin on Deuteronomie

  • Hebrews 12:27 “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.”

Geneva Bible Notes

  • Matthew 16:28 — “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”  “This was fulfilled in his resurrection which was as an entrie into his kingdome, and was also confirmed by sending the holie Gost, whereby he wroght so great and sondrie miracles.”

Dr. John Gill

  • Exposition on The Everlasting Covenant – “He preached in the same church as C. H. Spurgeon over one hundred years earlier. Yet most people today have never heard of John Gill. This is unfortunate, since his works contain priceless gems of information that are found nowhere except in the ancient writings of the Jews. Sufficient to say, John Gill probably forgot more about the Bible than any man, now living, knows. God gave him the ability to study as few others have and set down his results in his Expositor.”

Ovid Need – Biblical Examiner

Dr. John Owen

  • On ‘the Heavens and the Earth’ – 2 Pet. iii. 7 (1721) – “The heavens and earth that God Himself planted, -the sun, moon, and stars of the Judaical polity and church, -the whole old world of worship and worshippers, that stand out in their obstinacy against the Lord Christ, shall be sensibly dissolved and destroyed.”

Arthur W. Pink

  • The Attributes of God – “The sovereignty of God may be defined as the exercise of His supremacy. Being infinitely elevated above the highest creature, He is the Most High, Lord of heaven and earth. Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent; None can thwart Him, none can hinder Him. So His own Word expressly declares: “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isa. 46:10); “He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand” (Dan. 4:35). Divine sovereignty means that God is God in fact, as well as in name, that He is on the Throne of the universe, directing all things, working all things “after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11).”

  • A Study of Dispensationalism – “But there is further reason, and a pressing one today, why we should write upon our present subject, and that is to expose the modern and pernicious error of Dispensationalism. This is a device of the Enemy, designed to rob the children of no small part of that bread which their heavenly Father has provided for their souls; a device wherein the wily serpent appears as an angel of light, feigning to “make the Bible a new book” by simplifying much in it which perplexes the spiritually unlearned. It is sad to see how widely successful the devil has been by means of this subtle innovation.”

N.T. Wright

  • Enemy to the Reformed Faith?

  • Attractions of the New Perspective(s) on Paul  “I find that Wright’s overly realized eschatology is attractive to students todayPreterism is all the rage in some conservative Reformed circles these days. The “already and not yet” is out, and the “been there, done that” is in. NT eschatology, for the preterist, is retrospective and realized. Well, along comes Wright, with his very this worldly eschatology, and provides a high-powered academic justification for the low-rent forms of preterism circulating in some places today. And they love it. So I have found some students who have gotten into Wright via his eschatological approach to New Testament theology. “