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Notes on Daniel: Why A Preterist View is Needed

By Jay Rogers
Published July 21, 2019

One reason futurist dispensationalism became popular in the late 1800s to early 1900s was because of the conjecture of the liberal Higher Critics. The authority of Scripture was derided by liberals who saw in Matthew 24, and elsewhere in the New Testament, a promise of the Second Coming in the first century. Jesus stated plainly that “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:34). According to liberals such as Bertrand Russell in Why I am not a Christian, since Jesus had not returned bodily to the earth by AD 70, then this prophecy was obviously wrong.


In the Days of These Kings (Book)

Perfect-bound Paperback — 740 pages

The Book of Daniel in Preterist Perspective

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44).

The overarching message of Daniel is that Jesus the Messiah is even now ruling over the nations. He is the King of kings. Daniel tells us that Messiah’s kingdom will advance in the whole world from “generation to generation” (Daniel 4:4,34). Christ’s dominion is “given to the people of the saints of the most High” (Daniel 7:22). Our purpose then is to see “all people, nations, and languages … serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:14,27).

This comprehensive work offers a fascinating look at the book of Daniel in preterist perspective. Great attention is paid to the writings of ancient and modern historians and scholars to connect the dots and demonstrate the continuity of Daniel’s prophecy with all of Scripture.

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In response, most fundamentalists of the 20th century decided to twist the meaning of Matthew 24 toward a future fulfillment. But it is difficult to explain verse 34, “this generation,” as having an application beyond the “generation” of Jesus and the Apostles. This is one reason why many conservative scholars have now turned back to preterism.

Preterists, historicists and futurists all agree that at least some of Matthew 24 was fulfilled in the first century. Even the dispensationalist author Hal Lindsey, in The Late Great Planet Earth, admits that this passage had a partial first century fulfillment. Likewise, many preterists agree that parts of the Mount Olivet passage (Matthew 24, 25) have a future eschatological significance. All orthodox views of Scripture are “partial preterist” views. However, once we accept preterism to any degree, we ought to consider this paradigm to interpret similar passages of Scripture.

This is an important principle when critiquing the historicist view as well. Scripture must interpret Scripture. Historicists often assert that the Jesuits published the first preterist interpretation of Revelation in 1614, An Investigation into the Hidden Sense of the Apocalypse by Luis del Alcázar. They paint the preterist view as Roman Catholic propaganda that was concocted in order to deflect from the Protestant teaching that the papacy is the Antichrist. Yet John Calvin’s preterist treatment of Daniel, first preached in 1561, precedes Alcázar. I often hear historicists say that all of the Reformers were historicists. However, when Calvin preached his preterist exposition on Daniel, he also made applications from Daniel 7 and 9 to Revelation 13 and 17.

A partial preterist view can be traced to one of the earliest Christian commentaries on Daniel, which is contained in The Stromata (or Miscellanies) by Clement of Alexandria in AD 180, and the first known full commentary on Revelation by Victorinus of Pettau in AD 260. Contrary to the claim that preterism is a Jesuit invention, the preterist view has a strong pedigree tracing back to the early Church Fathers. Preterism is not a strange, new doctrine, but a view that is being reclaimed and retaught in our day.


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Your comments are welcome!

Jay,

If you want a copy of my Prophecies of Daniel 2, just let me know.

JSE

Posted by John S. Evans on 10/13/2009 10:21 PM #

Can you send me your commentaries on Daniel 7 and 8 and 9?

Posted by Robert Park on 07/01/2011 03:04 PM #

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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Why Creeds and Confessions? (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 219 pages

Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy

Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.

Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.

Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

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