AD 70 anticipates Second AdventPMT 2014:026 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

AD 70 prefigures the Second Advent; it is theologically linked to it. But this does not imply any concept of double-fulfillment. There is a fundamental difference between prolepsis and double-fulfillment. Let me explain.

In the OT we have several “Day of the Lord” events: against Babylon (Isa 13:9), Jerusalem (Joel 2:1), and others. Each of these is a pointer to the final Day of the Lord (2 Pet 3:10), though each OT version is spoken of as THE (singular) Day of the Lord. This is much like our spiritual resurrection in salvation (John 5:24-25; 1 John 3:14) pointing to our final resurrection at the end of history. Or like the Christian’s being a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15), which is a picture of the consummate new creation (2 Pet 3:10).

These observations represent standard proleptic theology, which is often called: Now-But-Not-Yet theology. This is held by most evangelical theologians.

In fact, many scholars see AD 70 as a microcosm of the final judgment. Consequently, we may expect the same imagery to apply to both AD 70 and the end.

For instance, of those first-century events, Bloesch states: “The catastrophe that befell the Jewish people in A.D. 70 is a sign of the final judgment.” (Donald G. Bloesch, The Last Things: Resurrection, Judgment, Glory [Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity, 2004], 84.)Getting the Message

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Morris agrees: “a theological unity between the two judgments, and that some of what Jesus says [in the Olivet Discourse] could apply equally well to both.” (Leon Morris, The Gospel according to Matthew [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992], 593.)

Mounce concurs: “the coming destruction of Jerusalem was anticipation of the end of the age.” (Robert H. Mounce, Matthew [Peabody, Mass.: 1991], 222.)

Hagner writes: “The fall of Jerusalem is described in quasi-eschatological language and in the same discourse that describes the coming of the Son of Man. The two events are obviously linked in the minds of the disciples (as their question implied, 24.3) and very probably in the mind of the evangelist.” He continues: “There is a theological relationship between the fall of Jerusalem and the end of the age, since both involve judgment. . . . The former is the prefiguration of the latter.” (Thomas E. Schmidt and Moises Silva, To Tell the Mystery: Essays on New Testament Eschatology in Honor of Robert H. Gundry [Sheffield, Eng.: Continuum, 1994], 66.)

Reymond speaks of Christ’s “‘lesser (typical) coming in judgment’ in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.” (Robert L. Reymond, A New Systematic Theology [Nashville: Nelson, 1998], 215.)

Alexander calls AD 70 a “prefiguring,”Robertson “a symbol” of the end. (Joseph Addison Alexander, The Gospel according to Matthew Explained [Lynchburg, Vir.: James Family, rep. n.d., (1861]), 345.)Greatness of the Great Commission front

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Of AD 70, T. J. Geddert states: “the events were, as do so many events in the OT, to point toward the final judgment.” (in Michael B. Green, Scot McKnight, I. Howard Marshal, eds., Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship [Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity, 1992], 23.)

Bavinck sees AD 70 as “the announcement and preparation of the consummation of the world.” (Herman Bavinck, The Last Things: Hope for This World and the Next, trans. by John Vriend, ed. by John Bolt [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996], 108.)

Strimple as “a proleptic, typological fulfillment of that final judgment of God.” (Robert B. Strimple in Darrell L. Bock, Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999], 64).

In fact, DBI observes that “Scripture portrays God’s judgments throughout history as proleptic pictures of the final judgment.” (Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit, Tremper Longman III, eds., Dictionary of Biblical Imagery [Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity, 1998], 472.)

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2 thoughts on “AD 70: POINTER TO SECOND ADVENT

  1. CAIQUE MATHEUS RIBEIRO CALIXTO January 17, 2022 at 5:58 pm

    Dr. Gentry
    which day of the Lord was Joel referring to in Joel 3:14? Peter seems to associate it with the fall of Jerusalem in Acts 2:17-20. But in Joel 3, it is not Jerusalem that is being judged, but the Gentile nations.

  2. Kenneth Gentry January 20, 2022 at 10:40 am

    Oftentimes OT references are not presented in the NT as actual fulfillments. Rather they are taken and adapted to new events.

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