Revelation past tensePMW 2022-010 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Due to the widespread influence of dispensationalism, the preterist approach to Revelation shocks many Christians. So it is important to carefully introduce them to the exegetical rationale for this approach.

I believe we should present a four-fold exegetical justification for preterism in Revelation. These justifications are rooted in interpretive demands derived from the text itself, not from theological predispositions (e.g., anti-premillennialism) or from traditional predilections (e.g., Moses Stuart, Milton Terry).

So I will begin with in this first article with: Temporal Indicators.

The leading preterist evidence derives from John’s temporal delimitations, which he emphasizes by strategic placement, didactic assertion, frequent repetition, and careful variation.

Blessed Is He Who Reads: A Primer on the Book of RevelationBlessed Is He SMALL (Larry Ball)
By Larry E. Ball

A basic survey of Revelation from the preterist perspective. It sees John as focusing on the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70.

See more study materials at:

He strategically places them twice in his introduction (1:1, 3) and five times in his conclusion (22:6, 7, 10, 12, 20), thereby bracketing the highly wrought drama within (4:1–22:6). In these didactic passages John employs two terms demanding preterism: tachos / tachu (1:1, cp. 22:7, 12, 20) and eggus (1:3; cp. 22:10). For example:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly [tachos] take place. . . . Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near [eggus]. (1:1a, 3)

John immediately impresses upon his reader the nearness of his prophetic events.

Lexicographers agree on the temporal significance of tachos in Revelation: The Baur-Arndt-Gingrich-Danker Lexicon (BAGD) notes that en tachei means: “soon, in a short time Lk 18:8; Ro 16:20; 1 Ti 3:14 v.1; Rv 1:1; 22:6; 1 Cl 65:1; shortly Ac 25:4.” Thayer offers the following range of meanings: “quickness, speed and quickly, shortly, speedily, soon,” listing Revelation 1:1 and 22:6 with the “speedily, soon” entries. Abbott-Smith concurs: 1:1 and 22:6 mean “quickly, speedily, soon.”

Greek text editors F. J. A. Hort, Kurt Aland, and Howard Marshall agree. Hort translates it “shortly, soon.” Aland comments: “In the original text, the Greek work used is tachu, and this does not mean ‘soon,’ in the sense of ‘sometime,’ but rather ‘now,’ immediately.” Marshall cites Revelation 1:1 and 22:6 as evidence that the normal use of the phrase en tachei “suggest[s] that soon is the meaning.”

In fact, all English versions translate it either as: “soon” (NIV, RSV, Beck, NRSV, NAB, CEV), “shortly” (KJV, ASV, Weymouth, NEB, NASB, NKJV), or “very soon” (Moffatt, Phillips, Williams, TEV). Tachos obviously indicates temporal brevity elsewhere (e.g., Lk 18:8; Ac 12:7; Ro 16:20). The same is true of its related form tachus (Mt 5:25; Mk 9:39; Lk 15:22; cp. Rev 2:16; 3:11; 11:14; 22:7, 12, 20).Book of Revelation Made Easy

Book of Revelation Made Easy
(by Ken Gentry)

Helpful introduction to Revelation presenting keys for interpreting. Also provides studies of basic issues in Revelation’s story-line.|

See more study materials at:

This evidence is reinforced by John’s linking tachos with eggus in the same contexts, as if to provide a two-fold witness (1:1, 3; 22:6, 10). BAGD provides the following entry for eggus: “of time near a. of the future: kairos Mt 26:18; Rv 1:3; 22:10.” The other lexicons cited above concur. TDNT notes that the term means “temporally near at hand” and observes that “like the Synpt., Rev. uses eggus only as a term for the near coming of the kingdom of God. Thus we have ho gar kairos eggus in 1:3; cf. 22:10″ (3:330, 331). The various samples of eggus in the NT all agree: some relating spatial, others temporal nearness (Mt 24:32, 33; 26:18; 13:28, 29; Lk 19:11; 21:30, 31). And again, all translations of Revelation agree; all versions cited above have either “near” or “at hand.”

Perhaps the most interesting proof of the meaning of these terms is the various competing, innovative, counter-intuitive attempts to get around their obvious significance! Indeed, if these terms do not express temporal nearness, what terms could John have used to do so? I am firmly convinced John prophesies the fast approaching destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70.

But there is more. I will engage the second line of evidence in my next article.

Click on the following images for more information on these studies:

Olivet Discourse EZ

The Greatness of the Great Commission

Title of third book here


2 thoughts on “REVELATION AS PAST TENSE (1)

  1. Josh February 6, 2022 at 2:38 am

    To me this is one of the strongest arguments for the Preterist approach. Also, that comic is hilarious!

  2. Barry Will February 6, 2022 at 9:10 am

    That’s what I like about preterism, it puts the burden on interpretation of a biblical passage to derive its meaning, but also how the word(s) are defined and used throughout the entire bible. If the narrative says “this generation” it.must therefore mean the generation contemporary with the speaker. That is word and context-driven hermeneutics.

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