Tag Archives: preterism


Lightfoot Whole WorksPMT 2014-100 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

For several years I have stated that the Westminster divine and great Talmudic scholar John Lightfoot (1602–75) was a preterist. I was wrong. He was an historicist.

By the very nature of the case, historicism often deals with prophecies that refer to events now past, hence prophecies that would agree with preterism. This is because historicism tends to view Revelation as a prophecy of the church from the first century until the end.

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PMT 2014-083 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.Preterism 2

Preterism is still largely unfamiliar to dispensationalists who dominate the evangelical publishing market. Yet it is making headway. And I believe it is making its presence felt due to its great strengths. Let’s consider those, then consider its weaknesses.

Preterism’s strengths

The leading strengths of preterism are:

(1) It retains and emphasizes the relevance of Revelation for John’s first-century audience (the seven churches in Asia Minor and apostolic Christianity more broadly), which is enduring a worsening period of persecution and oppression (1:9; 6:9–11; 14:13; 17:6) that would require Christians to strive to “overcome” (2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). John writes to a particular people at a particular time, and those people are urged to carefully “hear” (1:3) what Revelation presents. Continue reading


PreterismPMT 2014-082 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Of the four interpretive schools of Revelation, one of the most neglected in our times has been preterism. It is however experiencing a strong resurgence in recent days. This seems to be due to two powerful influences: (1) Futurism has warn out the evangelical market with false predictions. (2) As Christians look at the alternatives they find a powerful exegetical and theological case for preterism in recent contributions to the debate.

Preterism is the “ancient history” view of Revelation. Preterism practically points past people to the past, you might say (but I doubt you can say it five time very quickly). As I move toward the end of this series on interpretive approach to Revelation, I will engage preterism in two articles. Continue reading


Revelation preterismPMT 2014-023 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Three factors generate preterism: (1) the importance of chronological indicators in biblical prophecy, (2) the impact of OT apocalyptic language on eschatological discourse, and (3) the significance of A.D. 70 for redemptive history. Let us see how these impact Revelation.

First, preterism relies heavily upon Revelation’s assertions of the nearness of certain prophetic events (1:1,3; 22:6,10), while non-preterists disingenuously re-interpret these. When the preterist comes upon didactically-seated temporal delimiters, he allows them their literal significance and seeks an historical fulfillment in antiquity. Where absent, then other issues must suggest the proper interpretation, which may or may not demand a past fulfillment. Continue reading


PMT 2014-004 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Jerome writingSince the 1990s the preterist perspective has been making its presence felt in contemporary prophecy discussions. Unfortunately, dispensational eschatology, which arose in the 1830s and is built on the futurist system, thoroughly dominates evangelical preaching, education, publishing, and broadcasting today. Consequently, evangelical Christians are largely unfamiliar with preterism, making it seem to be the “new kid on the block.” Preterism, however, is as hoary with age as is futurism. And despite its overshadowing in this century, it has been well represented by leading Bible-believing scholars through the centuries into our current day. Continue reading