The destruction of Jerusalem by Titus is emphatically called the coming of Christ
Bishop William Newcome
1729 – 1800
“The destruction of Jerusalem by Titus is emphatically called the coming of Christ : the spirit of prophecy speaks particularly of this, because the city and temple were then destroyed, and the civil and ecclesiastical state of the Jews subverted. The Jews also suffered very great calamities under Adrian ; but not so great as those under Vespasian : and the desolation under Adrian is not particularly foretold. But I think that any signal interposition in behalf of his church or in the destruction of his enemies may be metaphorically called a coming, and a parousia of Christ.
- 1778 PDF: William Newcome, English Harmony of the Four Evangelists
- 1782: William Newcome, Observations on our Lord’s Conduct as Divine Instructor
- 1808 PDF: William Newcome, The New Testament in an Improved Edition – With Notes From Modern Preterists Michaelis, Pearce, Newcome, Le Clerc, Grotius, Wetstein, Clarke
- 1809 PDF: William Newcome, An Attempt Towards an Improved Version, a Metrical Arrangement, and an Explanation of the Twelve Minor Prophets
- 1829: J.P. Dabney, Annotations on the New Testament From the Best Critical Sources
- 1836: Literal Translation of the Bible, V3 – Ezekiel by Newcome
- 1836: Literal Translation of the Bible, V5 – Minors by Newcome and Horsley
Dividing Line Between Destruction of Jerusalem and General Judgment in the Book of Matthew – Matthew 25:31
(On The Significance of A.D. 70)
“The calamities undergone by the Jews were unparallel’d in their history, and will remain so. The many and great evils arising from their own distractions and intestine madness, were peculiar to this time. And Josephus asserts in general that no other city underwent such sufferings. In particular he says, that the number of captives, throughout the whole war was 97 thousand and that one million one hundred thousand perished in the course of the siege: To these must be added 237,490 of whom express mention is due by this historian, as being destroyed in other places; besides innumerable others, not subject to calculation, who were swept away by fatigue, famine, disease and every kind of wretchedness and violence. Thus did the awakened vengeance of heaven require of that generation, the blood of all the prophets, which had been shed from the foundation of the world.” (Harmony, p. 246.)
“The slaughter of the Galileans, and the destruction of those on whom the tower of Siloam fell, are retorted by our Saviour on the uncharitable Jews, with this prophetical addition, ” Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” This seems an evident allusion (supported by the parable that follows of the fig-tree) to the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred not long after, in a manner totally similar. A considerable number were slain by the ruins of the walls and towers ; the temple was everywhere polluted by the blood of its priests ; many, who came from far to attend the passover, fell before their sacrifices; and when Titus took the city, a multitude of dead bodies lay round the altar.” (Harmony, p. 447)
(On Zechariah 11:1)
“That which moveth me more than the rest is in c. 11, which contains a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem, and a description of the wickedness of the inhabitants, for which God would give them to the sword, and have no more pity on them. It is expounded of the destruction by Titus; but methinks such a prophecy was nothing seasonable for Zachary’s time, (when the city yet, for a great part, lay in her ruins, and the temple had not yet recovered her’s,) nor agreeable to the scope of Zachary’s commission, who, together with his colleague Haggai, was sent to encourage the people lately returned from captivity to build their temple and to instaurate their commonwealth. Was this a fit time to foretel the destruction of both, while they were but yet a building? and by Zachary too, who was to encourage them? would this not better befit the desolation by Nebuchadnezzar?” (Mede)
This chapter contains a prophecy of a very different cast to the foregoing. The people would not always behave as they ought, and therefore would not always be prosperous. Before their final glorious restoration, an event of a most calamitous nature was doomed to take place, the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem, which is plainly foretold, and ascribed to its proper cause, punishment for notorious wickedness. The flock were under the guidance of corrupt and unprincipled pastors, who sacrificed them to their own ambitious views. The prophet by God’s command assumes for a while the direction of them, therein becoming a type of Christ the good shepherd; but is soon obliged to resign his charge, with mutual dissatisfaction on both sides. He receives thirty pieces of silver as the reward for his services, and casts them by divine direction to the potter.
“These three first verses can relate only to the destruction of the city and temple by the Romans, and such was the application made by Rabbi Johanan, when the doors of the temple opened of their own accord before the temple was burnt, which circumstance is attested by Josephus. And the same Rabbi cites this place as the prophecy of Zechariah.” Blaney. ” (An Attempt, p. 319)
(On the Coming of Christ)
“The parousia of Christ to destroy the Jews was a virtual and not a real one; and his coming was to be understood figuratively, not literally. See Ps. xcvi. 13, Isa. xxvi. 21, Micah 1:3.” (Observations, p. 231)
“The destruction of Jerusalem by Titus is emphatically called the coming of Christ : the spirit of prophecy speaks particularly of this, because the city and temple were then destroyed, and the civil and ecclesiastical state of the Jews subverted. The Jews also suffered very great calamities under Adrian ; but not so great as those under Vespasian : and the desolation under Adrian is not particularly foretold. But I think that any signal interposition in behalf of his church or in the destruction of his enemies may be metaphorically called a coming, and a parousia of Christ. See 2 Thess. ii. 8, and compare Rev. xviii. 2” (Observations, p. 231)
(On Matthew 25:31)
“31. Hitherto the destruction of Jerusalem has been referred to. But from v, 31 to v. 46 the day of judgement is spoken of.” (An Attempt, in loc.)
(On John 5:43)
“[Him ye will receive ] In the period of time preceding the destruction of Jerusalem. False Christ’s deceived many. Matth. xxiv. 11, 24.” (An Attempt, in loc.)
(On John 21:12)
“12. [Till I come.] Till the destruction of Jerusalem. See Matt, xvi. 28.” (An Attempt, in loc.)
(On Acts 2:19-20)
“These verses refer to the destruction of Jerusalem. See my notes on Joel ii. 28—32 : and Obs. p.249. Compare Matt. xxiv. 29. Mark xiii. 24. Luke xxi. 25.” (An Attempt, in loc.)
(On Acts 3:19-21)
“These verses refer to the destruction of Jerusalem. The providence of God preserved, the Christians, at the time when such unexampled calamities befel the Jews.” (New Testament Improved, p. 269)
“His argument, that the ancients are unanimously on his side, has as little weight with me, as with the best commentators in modern times; for as Mr. Dodwell long ago observed; they fell far short of the solidity of the moderns, who excel them, not only in philosophy and learning, but in the knowledge of antiquity, and even of their own languages. The principal argument used by Mr. Churton, is the close connection of Matthew xvi, 28, and the parallel chapters of Mark and Luke, with the account of the transfiguration. But, with due submission, I think the connection is evidently, not with the transfiguration, but with the preceding context. We need only go back to the 27th verse, to perceive this, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, there will be some standing here, who shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” The coming of the Son of Man in the former, and his coming in his kingdom, in the latter of these verses, clearly determines the connection between the two; for in the account of the transfiguration, which immediately follows, there is not a word said of his coming. Besides, to foretel that the disciples would not die till an event took place which was to happen but six days after, this, as Bishop Newcome observes, would be a prophecy unworthy of Christ. I have only to add, that the same connection is observable in mark ix, 2, and in Luke ix, 28.” (An Attempt to Illustrate..)
“The providence of God over my disciples, and the effect of their attention to my forewarnings, will then be remarkable: a distinction will take place between those whose external circumstances are alike. My disciples will be preserved, and others will perish. See Bishop Newcome’s Observations on our Lord’s conduct as a Divine Instructor.” (ibid.)
William Newcome (1729–1800) was an Englishman and cleric of the Church of Ireland who was appointed to the bishoprics of Dromore (1766–1775), Ossory (1775–1779), Waterford and Lismore (1779–1795), and lastly to the Primatial See of Armagh (1795–1800).
He was born at Abingdon, Berkshire, on 10 April 1729. He was the second son of Joseph Newcome, vicar of St. Helen’s, Abingdon, rector of Barton-in-the-Clay, Bedfordshire, and grand-nephew of Henry Newcome. He was educated at Abingdon School, obtained (1745) a scholarship at Pembroke College, Oxford, migrated to Hertford College, Oxford, and graduated M.A. 1753, and D.D. 1765. He was elected a Fellow of Hertford College in 1753, and afterwards Vice-Principal of Hertford College.
In 1766 Newcome went to Ireland as chaplain to Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Marquess of Hertford, appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Before the end of the year Newcome was promoted to the see of Dromore, which had become vacant in April. He was translated to Ossory in 1775; to Waterford and Lismore in 1779; finally he was made Archbishop of Armagh and primate of all Ireland on 25 January 1795, during the short-lived viceroyalty of William Fitzwilliam, 4th Earl Fitzwilliam.
Newcome’s elevation to the primacy was said to be the express act of George III. He had no English patron but Fox, who was not then in power. His appointment was described by James Caulfeild, 1st Earl of Charlemont as the reward of character, principles, and erudition. His private fortune was large; he was able to advance without difficulty a sum of between fifteen and sixteen thousand pounds, assigned by parliament to the heirs of his predecessor, Richard Robinson, 1st Baron Rokeby. In his primary visitation of the province (1795) he strongly urged the neglected duty of clerical residence. He spent large sums on the improvement of the cathedral and palace at Armagh.
Newcome died at his residence, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, on 11 January 1800, and was buried in the chapel of Trinity College, Dublin. He was twice married, and had by his first wife one daughter, by his second wife a numerous family.