What is Preterism and is it ok for a Catholic to believe in Preterism?

Hi everyone. What exactly is Preterism and is it ok for a Catholic to believe in Preterism? :shrug::confused:

http://www.harleypinon.com/Cartoon%20about%2070%20AD.jpg

Wikipedia is misleading as far as Preterism is concerned, so I’ll give you a better definition of it.

Preterism means some of the eschatological prophecies Jesus made were already fulfilled in 70 AD - for example, the destruction of Jerusalem. Preterism requires the reader to read Jesus’ words according to historical context, instead of (as many seem to do) according to modern interpretation. It also requires the reader the acknowledge that those who lived in the early Church would understand Jesus’ words, whereas modern interpreters tend to consister the ancient people as idiotic, foolish, or misguided. The Catholic Church believes in preterism.

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But, that still leaves the Antichrist for the end times, right?

Perhaps. I heard Patrick Madrid say on his Pope Fiction series on EWTN that the Emperor Nero fitted the bill. This seems to have become fairly popular of late, and it does make sense when you think of it. Many of the things Nero did are comparable to the prophecy of the Anti-Christ as well as his name adding up to 666 (long story, but when rendered in Hebrew, which has a number for each letter, it does).

That’s really interesting. I didn’t know that his name added up that way. I guess the only thing about Nero that might make people wonder if the true Antichrist is still yet to come would be the time gap between then and now. I always thought that the time of the Antichrist would immediately precede the very end, but I could be totally wrong. This is all very interesting.

But here is the problem:
NONE of the ECFs identified Nero as the antichrist and did not seem to interpret Revelation as having to do with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. They were a lot closer to the events. Why no mention in thier writings? Particularily when commenting on Revelation?

Preterism, Futurism, and Historicism
Preterism and Futurism were founded by the catholic church to counter act the protestant view of Historicism. One placing the anti christ in the past, one looking into the future, that has found its way into the modern interpretation today. Historicism is the one that identified Rome and the RCC as the harlot.

Jesuits Introduce Futurist Counterinterpretation

For some time following the launching of the Reformation, Roman Catholic leadership carefully avoided exposition of the prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse. They seemed unable to parry the force of the incriminating Protestant applications of the prophecies concerning Antichrist, which were undermining the very foundations of the Catholic position. Upon the first outbreak of Luther’s antipapal protest two Catholic doctors, Prierias and Eck, in the true spirit of the Fifth Lateran Council (1512-1517), had boldly reasserted the Lateran theory and declared the papal dominion to be Daniel’s fifth monarchy, or reign of the saints, and identified the existing Roman church with the New Jerusalem.

But the reformers, with declarations by pen and voice, forcefully stated that the Papacy was the specified Antichrist of prophecy. The symbols of Daniel, Paul, and John were applied with tremendous effect. Hundreds of books and tracts impressed their contention upon the consciousness of Europe. Indeed it gained so great a hold upon the minds of men that Rome, in alarm, saw that she must successfully counteract this identification of Antichrist with the Papacy, or lose the battle. The Jesuits were summoned to aid in the extremity, and cleverly provided the very method needed both for defense and for attack.

From the ranks of the Jesuits two stalwarts arose, determined to lift the stigma from the Papacy by locating Antichrist at some point where he could not be applied to the Roman church. It was clearly a crisis of major proportions.

A History of the Foundation of Futurism and Preterism

In fact, they did mention it. They may not all have believed it, but even Augustine mentioned it (See City of God Chapter 19). The Apocryphal Accession of Isaiah mentions this belief as well, so we know for certain it was circulating then. Some even believed that Nero would return from the dead and become the Anti-Christ. There were several people who claimed to be Nero Reincarnate.
Also, see here:
Scroll down to the ‘More Serious Stuff’ section, but be certain not to miss the fun up above, either :stuck_out_tongue:

catholic-resources.org/Bible/666.htm

A couple of observations-

First, John (in his first epistle) refers to multiple anti-christs. So there is no contradiction in observing that many of the references in Revelation appear to be coded references to Nero and believing that there will be a significant world leader in the time immediately prior to the Second Coming who will be “filled with the spirit of anti-Christ.”

Next, the Early Christian Fathers for the most part did not identify the anti-christ prophecies with Nero specifically but with the Roman Empire in general - no doubt a reflection of the fact that several Roman emperors carried out horrific persecutions of the Church - Domition in particular even more egregious than Nero. However, I believe the “Nero as anti-christ” connection is made explicitly by both Commodian and Lactantius (both 3rd century).

Finally, while it would not be consistent with Catholic teaching to hold that ALL the prophecies of Scripture were fulfilled in the first century, it is unlikely that any Catholic claiming to be a preterist actually holds that view. What is NOT compatible with Catholic teaching is any interpretation that Jesus will return in stages, with a secret return just for the saved and a later return that brings the world under judgment (which is the essential element of the whole Rapture/Left Behind theory).

The foundation (at least among reformed Protestants) of many Preterists I have encountered is thier belief that the date of Revelation was prior to 70AD. The entire basis of this theory comes from St. Clement of Alexandria who wrote “For the teaching of our Lord at His advent, beginning with Augustus and Tiberius, was completed in the middle
of the times of Tiberius. And that of the apostles, embracing the ministry of Paul,
ends with Nero.” Nero died before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.
Basing an entire theological teaching on the prooftext of one quote is shaky at best. But it is intriquing nonetheless.

So can a Catholic believe in preterism? :shrug::confused:

As long as you don’t take the extreme view that ALL prophecy was fulfilled by 70 AD, yes.

You are correct as per scripture!!!

2 Thessalonians 2 - The Man of Lawlessness:

"Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved."

Hey Holly, preterism that does not exclude Jesus’ second coming? Absolutely! Sadly, full blown preterist proponents ignore passages such as the following; passages such as these, and more, have nothing to do with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD:

2 Thessalonians 2 - The Man of Lawlessness:

"Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessnessis revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved."

1 Thess. 4:

"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Matthew 24:

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothng about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Acts 1:11:
“Men of Galilee,” they said. “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

1 Corinthians 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

1 Corinthians 15:23-24:

"But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

[quote="JustaServant, post:7, topic:159612"]
But here is the problem:
NONE of the ECFs identified Nero as the antichrist and did not seem to interpret Revelation as having to do with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. They were a lot closer to the events. Why no mention in thier writings? Particularily when commenting on Revelation?

[/quote]

Yet, the bible says that many would not recognize him as well. The preterist doesn't deny that Revelation could also have a future interpretation, they simply don't try to read that into it. They instead try to read it based on past context, and things that have already happened. Could it also be future? Yes. We just avoid all of the end time stuff, like the 'Left Behind Trilogy'. (Good movie, but highly unlikely.)

Still could happen, probably won't. You'll find that most people that try to interpret it in modern day light try to say that because the book pointed to Rome and the worship of Caesar's, that it also points to today's Rome and the Pope. (Which would make the pope the antichrist. )

Holly, it is impossible for a preterist advocate to provide any kind of believable textual interpretation of Zechariah 12 and 14 because the preterist advocate believes those chapters to be equated with God’s judgment at the hands of the Romans in A.D. 70 but as you can see, upon reading both Zechariah 12 and 14 they in fact do not prophecy Israel’s judgment but rather Israel’s redemption. Both 12 and 14 clearly speak of a time when Israel is rescued (not judged) - by the Lord from an attack by “all the nations of the earth”. In this context it is clear that Israel is referring to Israel (the nation) - as opposed to Jesus’ church as the new Israel which means the events of Zechariah 12 and 14 have yet to occur.

Kind of a slam dunk…:thumbsup:

Preterism is false. The book of revelation is about what will happen in the end times.

goodfight.org/a_t_rob_bell.html

Of course, Bell’s appeal to preterism falls flat for a plethora of exegetical reasons. It will suffice at this juncture to point out that the early church fathers, such as Polycarp (who was a disciple of the apostle John) and Irrenaeus, inform us that the book of Revelation was written by the apostle John during the reign of Domitian in the 90’s, more than 20 years after the destruction of Jerusalem. Thus, the book of Revelation, for that reason and many others, could not have been describing what happened in AD 70!

gotquestions.org/preterist.html

Answer: The preterist interpretation of Scripture regards the book of Revelation as a symbolic picture of early church conflicts, not a description of what will occur in the end times. Preterism denies the future prophetic quality of most of the book of Revelation. In varying degrees, preterism combines the allegorical and symbolic interpretation with the concept that Revelation does not deal with specific future events. The preterist movement essentially teaches that all the end-times prophecies of the New Testament were fulfilled in A.D. 70 when the Romans attacked and destroyed Jerusalem and Israel.

The letters to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3 were written to real churches in the first century, and they have practical applications for churches today. But chapters 6-22, if interpreted in the same way as the rest of Bible prophecy, were written about events that are yet future. There is no reason to interpret the prophecies of Revelation allegorically. Previously fulfilled prophecies were fulfilled literally. For example, all of the Old Testament verses predicting the first coming of Christ were fulfilled literally in Jesus. Christ came at the time that He was predicted to come (Daniel 9:25-26). Christ was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). He suffered and died for our sins (Isaiah 53:5-9). These are but a few examples of the hundreds of Old Testament prophecies God gave to the prophets that are recorded in Scripture and that were fulfilled literally. It simply does not make sense to try to allegorize unfulfilled prophecy or understand unfulfilled prophecy in any other way than by a normal reading.

Furthermore, preterism is entirely inconsistent in its interpretation of the book of Revelation. According to the preterist view of the end times, chapters 6-18 of Revelation are symbolic and allegorical, not describing literal events. However, chapter 19, according to preterists, is to be understood literally. Jesus Christ will literally and physically return. Then, chapter 20 is again interpreted allegorically by preterists, while chapters 21-22 are understood literally, at least in part, in that there will truly be a new heaven and new earth. No one denies that Revelation contains amazing and sometimes confusing visions. No one denies that Revelation describes some things figuratively. However, to arbitrarily deny the literal nature of select portions of Revelation is to destroy the basis of interpreting any of the book literally. If the seals, trumpets, bowls, witnesses, 144000, beast, false prophet, millennial kingdom, etc., are allegorical or symbolic, on what basis do we claim that the second coming of Christ and the new earth are literal? That is the failure of preterism—it leaves the interpretation of Revelation to the opinions of the interpreter. Instead, we are to read it, believe it, and obey it—literally and exactly.

Read more: gotquestions.org/preterist.html#ixzz2mog1Wl00

Old thread, Sky. Let it rest.

That’s not entirely correct:

First Clement
“Not in every place, brethren, are the continual daily sacrifices offered, or the freewill offerings, or the sin offerings or the trespass offerings, but in Jerusalem alone. And even there the offering is not made in every place, but before the sanctuary in the court of the altar; and this too through the high-priest and the aforesaid ministers.” (41:2)

“Of a truth, soon and suddenly shall His will be accomplished” (23:5)

(Fulfillment of Matthew 24:14)
“But not to dwell upon ancient examples, let us come to the most recent spiritual heroes. Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. Through envy and jealousy, the greatest and most righteous pillars have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. Owing to envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience.” (5.1–17)

“All glory and enlargement was given unto you, and that was fulfilled which is written My beloved ate and drank and was enlarged and waxed fat and kicked.” (1Clem 3:1)

Cyprian
(On the Fulfillment of Matthew 23:36)
That the Jews should lose Jerusalem, and should leave the land which they had received.

In Isaiah: “Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers shall devour it in your sight; and the daughter of Zion shall be left deserted, and overthrown by foreign peoples, as a cottage in a vineyard, and as a keeper’s lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a city which is besieged. And unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we should have been as Sodoma, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.”[5] Also in the Gospel the Lord says: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldst not! Behold, your house shall be left unto you desolate.”[6] (THREE BOOKS OF TESTIMONIES AGAINST THE JEWS., 6)

Clement of Alexandria:
(On The ‘Seventy Weeks’ of Daniel)
"“The Temple was rebuilt in seven weeks: then, after an interval of sixty-two weeks, the Messiah came. then, after an interval of half a week, Nero placed an abomination in the Temple of Jerusalem: and, after another half-week, the Temple was destroyed by Vespasian.”

“And thus Christ became King of the Jews, reigning in Jerusalem in the fulfillment of the seven weeks. And in the sixty and two weeks the whole of Judaea was quiet, and without wars. And Christ our Lord, “the Holy of Holies,” having come and fulfilled the vision and the prophecy, was anointed in His flesh by the Holy Spirit of His Father. In those “sixty and two weeks,” as the prophet said, and “in the one week,” was He Lord. The half of the week Nero held sway, and in the holy city Jerusalem placed the abomination; and in the half of the week he was taken away, and Otho, and Galba, and Vitellius. And Vespasian rose to the supreme power, and destroyed Jerusalem, and desolated the holy place. And that such are the facts of the case, is clear to him that is able to understand, as the prophet said.” [The Stromata, Or Miscellanies. Book 1. ed. A.Roberts and J. Donaldson, 4.0 ed., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, vol. 1), p. 307.]

St. Athanasius:
"Verily, when He came and found no fruit in them, He cursed them through the fig-tree, saying, “Let there be henceforth no fruit from thee” [Matt. 21:191; and the fig-tree was dead and fruitless, so that even the disciples wondered when it withered away.

“Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophet: “I will take away from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the scent of myrrh, and the light of a lamp, and the whole land shall be destroyed” [Jer. 25:10]. For the whole service of the law has been abolished from them, and henceforth and forever they remain without a feast.” (St. Athanasius, Letters [vi])

“And when He Who spake unto Moses, the Word of the Father, appeared in the end of the world, He also gave this commandment, saying, “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another” [Matt. 10:23; and shortly after He says, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand); then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes” [Matt. 24:15]. Knowing these things, the Saints regulated their conduct accordingly.” (Defense of His Flight [11])

There is actually some material on the Early Church Fathers commenting on the destruction of Jerusalem, Nero, and the fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew and the Book of Revelation.

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