5.21.2008

Musings on Preterism (3)


I read a preterist who posed this dilemma for futurists:

All sources that point to a 90AD writting of the book of Revelation point to Iraneas. He makes several statements that make you wonder what all you can believe of what he wrote... Statements made within the writings of Revelation point to a before 70 AD writing. I put my trust in the Word.
Discussing the dating is a very interesting topic. In fact, the full impact of the preterist view leads to some ridiculous conclusions about the book of Revelations itself. Revelations according to the preterist is now a history book. That said, even to ponder such a notion seems ridiculous since there are many events that have clearly not happened as of yet. Back to the dating:

First, the dating of Irenaeus does not stand in a vacuum. It is understood with several other historical points, idiom and context of the Revelation. More on that in a few. Besides those points, the point of Irenaeus stands as there is no early witness that even suggests an earlier date.

Second, preterism is the view here that requires an early date. Futurism does not. Preterism lives and dies by the dating of the Revelation. In fact, desperate preterists have even suggested a different authorship to accommodate this aberrant interpretation.

Third, to follow the conclusion of the preterist interpretation would also suggest that all those events would have to been concluded by 67 AD at the latest. In light of other contextual events in Revelation this is almost absurd.

Fourth, there are other early historical witnesses, e.g. Eusebius, that speak of John being banished by Domitian. In fact, it is believed by scholars that Eusebius is actually quoting an earlier historicist Hegesippus which dates to 150 AD. Victorinus (300 AD)., not necessarily Irenaeus. Tertullian (150 AD); Hippolytus (236 AD); Jerome (340 AD) are just a few others.

Fifth, the churches that are mentioned in Revelation do not have enough time to grow and then decline as the context of Revelation itself demonstrates has happened. The letter to church at Ephesus dates to the early 60's AD and Paul actually commends them in that letter. Paul died around 65 AD. Titus destroyed Jerusalem 5 years later.
Sixth, Revelations has idiomatic structures that relate to a time period near the close of the first century. Dr. Enoch Pond states:
A variety of evidence, drawn from the Apocalypse itself, goes to assure us that it could not have been written until near the close of the first century.

It was not till this time that the first day of the week began to be called ‘the Lord’s day,’ yet it was on ‘the Lord’s day’ that John was in the Spirit, and saw the opening vision of the Apocalypse (Rev. 1:10).

It was not till near the close of the first century that there was presiding elder, an angel, in each of the Churches. Previous to this the elders of a Church were always classed together, but each of the seven Churches of Asia seems to have had a presiding officer, or elder, when the Apocalypse was written. (Click here to read entire article)
I could go on, but I think the point is made. Futurists do not NEED or require a late or early date. It is the preterist who lives and dies by this date. It is a short life, much less the futility of it considering the evidence. I invite all our preterist brethren to find another hill to die on. This one isn't worth the effort, plus you'll die there and really it will never be a hill remembered.

4 comments:

Virgil said...

James, you are not very convincing. I am not sure who you are quoting above, but the book of Revelation itself is self contained regarding both its authorship and also its date. I do not need Irenaeous to validate anything, just as you conclude.

What bothers me is that right after you decide to ignore outside testimony, you immediately quote Enoch Pond to lead to a decisive conclusion.

Futurists do not need an early date for Revelation. Futurists need to explain why in 2,000 years the prophecies of the book have still not been fulfilled. The book itself has defined a "quick, at hand, immediate" framework; the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate why it has failed to deliver.

This is a hill to die for...for the sake of inspiration, biblical accuracy, and credibility for our faith.

James Anderson said...

Virgil, thanks for your comment. I do believe the text has our answer, and yet therein I beleive preterism fails also. However, based upon the preterist view an early dating is essential.

I did not quote Enoch Pond to lead to a decisive decision. You are reading too much into that. Please do not take my responses in a vacuum. I have three other musings on preterism as well.

As it regards time texts, I have mentioned those in my musings. The very nature of the Apocalyptic writing can help us understand such things.

Virgil said...

James, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of articles dealing extremely effectively with everything you are pointing out...I am just saying that perhaps you are either unaware of the material in existence or you are reading stuff that is not addressing your concerns effectively.

We have put together an extensive FAQ at http://preterism.com if you are interested in doing some reading on it. Also, many folks would be happy to answer your concerns at planetpreterist.com or you can even drop me an email if you want to talk about these details in person.

It's really not about convincing anyone of being right or wrong. In my opinion is about understanding the covenantal importance of the jewish temple, maintaining the integrity of the scripture and of Christ himself.

James Anderson said...

Virgil, thanks for coming by.

I have already been to planetpreterist. Last time I was there was when you did a review of the compiled work of G. Jorge Medina.

The integrity of Scripture is not lost in futurism. There are aspects of Scripture that you have problems with, and not the text itself. That argument is eventually smoke and mirror. The historical nor biblical data accounts for preterism.

Adversus Trinitas

"...unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 ESV)