A Critique Of The Preterist View Of Revelation And The Jewish War -- By: Mark L. Hitchcock

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 164:653 (Jan 2007)
Article: A Critique Of The Preterist View Of Revelation And The Jewish War
Author: Mark L. Hitchcock

A Critique Of The Preterist View Of Revelation And The Jewish War

Mark L. Hitchcock

Mark L. Hitchcock is Pastor, Faith Bible Church, Edmond, Oklahoma.

This is the second article in a five-part series “Preterism and the Date of the Book of Revelation.”

According to preterism the Book of Revelation was written in A.D. 65–66 in the reign of Nero with most of the prophecies in the book being fulfilled only a few years later. Thus according to preterism the book does not predict a yet-future Tribulation and return of Christ to the earth. The first article in this series discussed the position of preterists that the words “soon” (τάχος and ταχύς) and “near” (ἐγγύς) mean Christ returned soon after John wrote Revelation. Weaknesses in this view were pointed out, and it was argued that those words refer instead to the imminency of the events recorded in Revelation, events that could occur at any time.1 The present article discusses the preterist view that several verses in Revelation predicted the Jewish War in A.D. 70.

The Thematic Focus Of Revelation 1:7

Revelation 1:7, which announces the theme of the book, states that when Jesus comes “with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him.” Preterists contend that this verse refers to the “cloud coming” of Christ in A.D. 70 in judgment on Israel with the Romans as the instrument of that judgment.2 Thus for preterists

this verse refers to the local event in A.D. 70, not a global event in conjunction with the second coming of Christ. Gentry writes, “Such being the case, only a pre-A.D. 70 date could be expected, for what event subsequent to the A.D. 70 destruction of the Temple parallels the magnitude and covenantal significance of this event? Surely the destruction of the Jewish Temple (accomplished now for over 1900 years) and the gruesome Jewish War with Rome must be in view here.”3

To arrive at this conclusion Gentry focuses on phrases that refer to the objects of Christ’s wrath, namely, “those who pierced Him,” and “the tribes of the earth.” These words clearly recall the words of Daniel 7:13 and Zechariah 12:10. Those who...

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