The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Question for full preterists

Why did Paul warn the churches about the end if it was all only about Jerusalem? If an atom bomb went off in that city it wouldn’t effect people in Corinth or Rome, right?

Hey there,

I wouldn’t consider myself a full Preterist however I’ll give this question a shot. It could be more related to considering that the Jewish people were scattered around places like Corinth and Rome as well as Jerusalem. So it could pertain to all Jewish people - not too sure though. I think there would be much debate as to what “the end” means as well. Could be the end of the sacrificial system, the end of only including Jewish people in salvation (ie. Gentiles now being able to be saved), the end of that era to the next. Haven’t really looked into this for a while though.

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Hi Andre…

The early church was predominately Hebraic… which helps explain its early success and as such what happened in Jerusalem carried connection and sway (Rom 15:25-27; Gal 16:1-3).

Gentiles of course were joining ‘the body of Christ’ in greater numbers but members of ‘the Way’ would have been still considered little more than a Jewish sect by Roman authorities who had little to no qualms being suspicious of any Jews they considered potential renegades or insurgents, i.e., anyone not willing to swear allegiance to Caesar as Lord. Not to mention… John of Revelation writes to the Seven Churches of Asia teasing out in visionary long form what Jesus himself said directly about the coming eschaton in His ‘little apocalypse’ as per Mt 24, Mk 13, Lk 17, 21 etc.

Also… have you ever noticed the TOTALLY Hebraic tone of the Gentile epistle to the Corinthians right here…

1Cor 10:1-5 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

IF these guys Paul writes this to, deep into his letter, aren’t of a heavily Hebraic heritage then I’m a monkey’s uncle… some might say yeah could be :wink: — that right there is the context for 1Cor 1:2.

Remember… this is far away Corinth, not Jerusalem AND YET this language Paul uses is full-on Israel’s story, i.e., the Corinthian’s story! What real sense or impact was Paul’s exhortation to have on genuine foreigners devoid of such knowledge? IF such was the case it would be no different than us claiming ownership of Israel’s actual history as our own story. In light of this consider the following relative to this thought from Acts, i.e., the EARLY church

Acts 15:21 For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.

The Diaspora WAS the bedrock of the early church beyond Palestine and its subsequent spreading success; that in conjunction with ease of commerce courtesy of the empire-traversing Roman roads that carried the gospel message, and of course the then common Grecian world—trade language. No doubt all divinely orchestrated for the Bible’s “ends of the ages” era of AD30—70.

Okay, good points.

edit:

But what about Paul’s saying that people shouldn’t get married? Why would that even be an issue if the end wasn’t about some earthly upheaval?

Davo, I’m not sure I understand how you’ve answered Andre. Is it that Paul’s warnings to far away Gentile churches about avoiding future divine judgment and calamity can all reasonably refer to an AD70 Jerusalem event, because all believers identified with Israel and its’ story, and thus would be emotionally pained by Jerusalem’s destruction?

I’d say for a goodly portion who were in fact of Hebraic extraction, i.e., of the Diaspora (Jas 1:1; 1Pet 1:1)… undoubtedly so. I realised you don’t agree with any of this BUT I’m inclined to think it is plausible.

So are you saying even Paul’s warnings are mostly addressing his Gentile church’s Jewish converts who would be especially grieved by Jerusalem’s fall? If so, to what practical response is he calling those far away Diaspora Hebrews, in order that they may lessen or better handle this danger?

I don’t know Bob but it is one prêteristic answer to Andre’s question and he seemed to get it.

Right, maybe he can explain what made sense to him. To me, that texts would be warning folk about a divine judgment far from them that they cannot flee or do anything about seems non-sensical.

It strikes me as relevant that the converted Jews in Jerusalem would feel the effects of Titus’s devastation more acutely than the many outlying Gentile churches. From the Preterist Archives:

"What one actually finds in the literature of this period is a surprising amount of continuity both with the past and among individual congregations.(16) Certainly there were differences between various branches of the early church, primarily the result of individual, local, or regional characteristics. t, it appears that, in a general sense, there was a common core and framework of both the content and form of the faith. This was true because what Christianity’s Jewish background and original environment had to give had been given before the disruption. The crucial developments had taken place before 70 C.E. **Thus, for the Church at large the effects of the fall of Jerusalem were minimal. The overthrow of the Jewish state served to confirm in the minds of most Christians that God had rejected the form of Second Commonwealth Judaism as his method of carrying out his purpose. Also, as W.D. Davies observes, it “placed the seal on what had already emerged, namely the predominance of Gentile Christianity.”(17) In fact, it is significant that although the NT and other early Christian sources are not without either implicit or explicit references to the fall of Jerusalem, it is certainly not a main topic of concern."

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Give me a shoehorn view as to why this is the case?

Distance, proximity. The AD 70 thing was just not a major issue for those far outside of Jerusalem. They did not attach any great importance to it, or consider it a big theological issue.

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The understanding I have is that the followers of Christ Did have a dog in the hunt. No matter where they where, Paul saw to that. His message to the gentile churches was to the point.

As far as I can tell, from reading the historians who have read the documents, AD 70 was not a big factor in the continuing proclamation and fellowship of most all of the Gentile and mixed congregations that were away from Jerusalem.
I’m not drawing any conclusions, and perhaps there are other facts out there that I’m not aware of - most certainly there are - and if so that will be interesting.

And so how from that historians perspective was the AD 70 happening relative to the Israelite’s of the time, because it seems to me that the gentile believers were believers because of Jewish Israelite’s. In other words there was no Christian following without Jewish understanding.

Minimal does not mean non-existent nor unimportant. It is a fact that by the latter times of that pre-parousia age believers were suffering persecution right across the empire, and if one acknowledges that those churches of Asia Minor had some inkling of the gospel AND THUS Jesus’ dire warnings towards Jerusalem then for those believers events such as they might hear as having occurred at Jerusalem must have had some resonance in terms of their understanding as to the finality of the Saviour’s prophetic words etc; not to mention then such utterances as Peter, James, John and Paul likewise gave within that same context.

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It is my understanding that the Church Fathers looked towards a ‘still future’ return of Christ (ie the parousia).

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Pilgrim, your linked material above points out that the early Church believed in what we now term “the Millennial day theory”—the belief that the Second Coming of Christ will be 6,000 years after the creation of mankind. As explained in Wikipedia:

The Millennial day theory, or the Sabbath millennium theory, is a theory in Christian eschatology in which the Second Coming of Christ will occur 6,000 years after the creation of mankind, followed by 1,000 years of peace and harmony. It is a very popular belief accepted by certain premillennialists who usually promote young earth creationism.

The view takes the stance that each millennium is actually a day according to God (as found in Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8), and that eventually at the end of the 6,000 years since the creation, Jesus will return. It teaches that the 7th millennium is actually called the Sabbath Millennium, in which Jesus will ultimately set up his perfect kingdom and allow his followers to rest. The Sabbath Millennium is believed to be synonymous with the Millennial Reign of Christ that is found in Revelation 20:1-6.

[See also “The 7th Day Prophecy,” and the “Ussher Chronology”]

Young Earth Creationism (e.g., a literal six day creation, and Noah’s worldwide Flood explaining the layers of the fossil record) and Futurism (e.g., a coming literal Antichrist, Tribulation, the physical return of Christ, and the Millennial Age) are interlinked.

And Young Earth Creationism and Futurism are foundational to “the Millennial day theory.”

Interestingly, PETER appears to link all three (YEC, futurism, and the Millennial day theory) together when he warned concerning scoffers in the end-times (the times in which we are now living):

2 Peter 3:3-10 (NIV)
The Day of the Lord

[Preterism vs. Futurism:]

3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

[Darwinism vs. Creationism:]

5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
6 By these WATERS also THE WORLD of that time was DELUGED AND DESTROYED.
7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

[Millennial day theory:]

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.

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…fancy trying to use Peter’s words, what a complete laugh!

Anyone familiar with the evidence from you vocal futurists on this forum KNOWS it is YOU GUYS in opposition to past fulfilment who scoff concerning His Coming saying… “where is it, we didn’t see it, nobody saw, it hasn’t happened!” Like get real!!!

(I guess I hit a live wire there.) No, the futurists I know are patiently waiting, in hope, for…
the revelation of Christ; our physical resurrection at that time–when we join him in the clouds (1 Thes. 4:15-17); the Wedding Feast; and our return with him to earth on white horses:

1 John 3:2-3
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

I would say Peter’s prophesied warning of “scoffing” includes this point of view:

“Why are you waiting for him? The Parousia already occurred in 70 AD!”

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