Can a Catholic be a preterist?


#1

Does a Catholic need to believe what the Church does on end times, or is there some private interpretation allowed on end times/fulfilled prophecy eschatology?

Thanks-


#2

Catholics are called to believe all that the Church teaches on matters of faith (read: doctrine, dogma) and morals.

To my knowledge, there are few firm teachings on the end times. The Church is generally opposed to the scenarios made popular by writers like Hal Lindsey. The Church does not teach in a “Rapture” event and so on.

Recall that the the Catholic Church generally only defines doctrine strictly in response to some controversy. And that controversy must generally be leading people into serious error or division.

With that in mind, there is much room for theological advancement in the interpretation of prophetic books. As long as one remains faithfull to all the other Church teachings.

Eschatological as well as preterist interpretations of many prophetic books, especially apocalyptic ones like Daniel and Revelation, are not mutually exclusive.


#3

It seems like two different questions: Should Catholics believe Church teaching on eschatology? (Yes.)

Can a Catholic be a preterist? (Yes, partially.) Partial preterists believe in the future Resurrection of the Dead and Judgment. Completed or “full” preterists deny these things.

Preterist views to me make the most sense by far. But not to the extent of denying the future Resurrection and Judgment, which would go against CC teachings. So I’m a partial preterist, as are many Catholics I know.


#4

So what do you make of Matthew 24:34 when Christ says “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Seems like if I was a disciple standing there, I would take it as Christ meaning that he would return in my generation? That confuses me.

Thanks


#5

Yes; that’s exactly how those disciples took it, and that is what happened. Throughout the Bible, the Lord continually tells cities and areas that He will “come to” them, usually in clouds, to judge them and sometimes to see to their destruction, if they don’t repent. So the Lord DID “return to” Jerusalem within that generation—except He returned in judgment. Jerusalem fell and the Temple was destroyed; so everything Jesus predicted in Matthew 24 came to pass just as He said, within a generation after His death.

HOWEVER—there are passages throughout the N.T. that seem to refer to a still-future coming of the Lord, a resurrection of the dead, and a final judgment. I’m not an authority, but I’m pretty sure the CC teaches that those are still future. (Even in the Creeds, we say we look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.) So this part is still future, but most of what was predicted in N.T. prophecy has already taken place, revealing to us Christ as the great Judge and Lord of humanity.

Hope this helps.


#6

Thanks, that is helpful. What about Mark 16:28? " I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." I just don’t see how being a discple standing there it could just mean returning in judgemen? It seems like a very literal 2nd coming to me. I know some argue that the Transfiguration fulfills the prophecy but that doesn’t seem to add up to me.

Please let me know what I am missing. Thanks!


#7

I’ve heard about the Transfiguration interpretation as well, but I agree with you on this: it doesn’t seem quite right to me.

Actually, this passage seems to me to support the preterist position. Jesus just meant, I think, that some of His disciples would live to see the judgment of Jerusalem. It does seem like it could mean more, but I don’t know what that is. Sorry!


#8

Consider the testimony of the synoptics as a whole.

Mark 8:34-38 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Luke 9:23-27 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”

Matt 16:24-28 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Most would say that this is referring to 70 A.D. And I would agree. However Matthew ties into this conversation between Jesus and His disciples that rewards according to works would be dished out within the lifetime of at least some of them. Judgment according to works is something that happens post resurrection.

So…I dunno. This is not an easy passage to deal with.

Mike


#9

In the end, both preterism as well as futurism miss the point. Ludwig Ott explains the general Catholic position before liberals converted even orthodox persons into their BS, most of which is almost as useless as Fundamentalist questions. For according to Ott, the Church generally understands the apocalypse as pertaining to the whole of salvation history itself, that is, from a spiritual standpoint. Hence, the apocalypse will be fully understood right before the end of the world, as the Church will come to understand the full spiritual Plan that God had for humanity from the beginning. She will understand the psychology of why salvation history has evolved the way it has in terms of its spiritual stages, and how the Gentiles will come into an IRREVOCABLE apostasy.

Hence, the answer of which is it? Futurism or Preterism., the answer is like RIchard Pryor put it : “None of the above!”


#10

I read an article on a site that made the events of the End Times and Antichrist clear to me. The article was called "Will you Deny Him". It made the end very clear: howlongolord.com/?p=235

Anyone can see from the clear text of the article sequential events that are happening today... So, the 70 AD thing does not fit...


#11

Preterist, Eschatology, "The Coming of the Lord"

JimRyan. You asked:

. . . What about Mark 16:28? " I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." I just don't see how being a disciple standing there it could just mean returning in judgment? . . .

The concept of the "Coming of the Lord" means Covenant judgment. Do a word study on comings of the Lord in the Old Testament and you will see that.

There was a literal fulfillment of this coming of the Lord with the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. Josephus (the Jewish Wars) tells of this event and of some of the supernatural signs that accompanied it if I recall correctly. It has been many years since I have read this book of Josephus who was a Levitical Priest and was employed as a historian for the Romans - I think it might have been under General Titus but I cannot say for sure off hand.

But this isn't the whole story (there is yet another layer of meaning) . . .

There is also a coming of the Lord when we personally pass on out of this world. We are judged as individuals.

But this still isn't the whole story (there is yet another layer of meaning) . . .

There is the fulfillment of this in an eschatological sense too at the end of time and I think that is what your questioning concerns above if I'm not mistaken.

There are even other layers of meaning (regarding the life of the Church for example) but I won't get into that here as I have not studied it enough.

I hope I got to the crux of your question.


closed #12

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