Home>William Henry Simcox

William Henry Simcox

The Revelation of S. John the Divine: With Notes and Introduction (1890)

Preterist Commentaries By Historical Preterism

Now it is possible to point out several schemes, according to which this prediction was more or less accurately fulfilled. Perhaps the most satisfactory is, to take the five fallen kings to be those from Augustus to Nero inclusive, and to suppose the three claimants of empire, Galba, Otho, and Vitel- lius, not to be counted as actual emperors. Then the sixth will be Vespasian, the seventh the shortlived Titus, and the eighth Domitian, a tyrant and a persecutor, who was recognised both by Christians and Pagans as a revival of Nero. It is probable that this was the interpretation really given, if not by St Victorinus, at all events by the authorities he used and ought to have followed.

It harmonises with this, that in ch. xi. Jerusalem and the Temple there are apparently spoken of as still existing. It is true, we cannot be sure how far we are to understand such passages literally, how far ” the Holy City ” and ” the Temple of God” are to be understood spiritually of their evangelical antitypes. But on the whole it appears simplest to take the literal sense, which appears to be the traditional one. There is even a respectable amount of traditional evidence for referring to the fall of Jerusalem the vision of the seven seals in ch. vi.: and this interpretation is supported by the close resemblance between the imagery there, and that in our Lord’s prophecy, St Matt. xxiv. &c.

Thus on the question of date, as of authorship, we seem to find external evidence in conflict with internal. On the former question, we found the possibility of reconciliation between the two to be conditional on our decision on this point: on the other hand, it is a consideration in deciding this, what view will best harmonise all the evidence on all the questions affecting the book. And on the whole, the most probable view seems to be, that the Revelation was written by the Apostle John, at some time between the death of Nero in June A.D. 68, and the capture of Jerusalem in August A. D. 70: the Gospel and Epistles being much later works of the same author. ” (The Revelation of S. John the Divine: With Notes and Introduction, xxxix)


Revere Franklin Weidner (1898)
Simcox, William Henry. The Revelation of St. John the Divine. With Notes and Introduction. Cambridge, 1890. The volume belongs to the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Simcox has also written the notes on Revelation in the Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges, the Introduction and Appendixes, covering over 90 pages, being virtually the same in both editions. He accepts the early date of the Apocalypse, and tries to unite the Preterist and the Futurist schemes of interpretation. He thinks that the Apocalypse “was written specially for the Church of the Apostles’ own age, and for the Church of the last age of all: we need not therefore expect to find any intermediate age of affliction, or any intermediate enemy of the truth, indicated with such individualizing detail as Nero and his persecution on the one hand, or Antichrist and his on the other.” There was an imperfect and inadequate fulfilment of the prophecies of Antichrist in this book in the persons of Nero and Domitian, but we must look for a more complete fulfilment at the last times. ” We may thus recognize an element of truth in the two rival schemes of interpretation commonly called the preterist and futurist—that which sees in the Revelation only a prediction or forecast of events near the Seer’s own time, and now past, and that which sees a prediction of events wholly or almost wholly future, and only to be fulfilled in the few last years of the world’s existence. . . . Revelation may be regarded as a picture of the persecution of the Church, ‘ in type ‘ by such emperors as Nero and Domitian, ‘ in truth’ by the Antichrist of the last days, and a prophecy of Christ’s victory over both enemies, the type and the antitype.” The work, small as it is, is a valuable contribution to the literature of the Apocalypse.” (Annotations on the Revelation of St. John the Divine, lvii)


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