Stephen Whitsett BA
Giving an orthodox apologetic answer for Preterism / Dispensationalism
Dating Revelation 2
1 Clement of Rome (c. AD 35 – 105) Epistle of Clement
Ignatius of Antioch (c. AD 50- 117) “Spurious Epistles”
Papias Bishop of Hierapolis* (c. AD 60-130) “Fragments V”
Shepherd of Hermas* (c. AD 65 -150)
Polycarp (c. AD 69 – 155) “Fragments II”
Saint Justin Martyr (c. AD 100–165) “On the Resurrection”
Irenaeus * (c. AD 130-202.) “Against Heresies book V”
Athenagoras (c. AD 133 – 190) “The Resurrection of the Dead”
Clement Titus Flavius Clemens* (c. AD 150-215) “The Second Epistle of Clement”
Tertullian* (c. AD 160-220) “On the Resurrection of the Flesh”
Hippolytus of Rome (c. AD 170 – 235) “Antichrist, The End of the world”
Origen of Alexandria* (c. AD 185-254) “Commentary of St Mathew”
Victorious* (c. AD ? - 304) “Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John”
Saint Methodius of Olympus (c. AD ? - 311) “On the Resurrection”
Eusebius* (c. AD 263 – 339) “Letter on the council of Nicea”
Athanasius (c. AD 296 – 373) “On the Incarnation of the word
Jerome Saint * (c.?AD 347 – 420) “De Viris Illustribus )
Gregory of Nissa (c. AD ? - 386) “On the Soul and the Resurrection”
John Chrysostom (c. AD 347–407) “Homilies on First Corinthians
After two days of gleaning through the works of each writer it became very apparent that they almost ALL look forward to the resurrection and or future fulfillment of Revelation events. Meaning not one believed the Resurrection was a thing of the past, or of Judgment, or mentions of a new Heaven and earth. They all spoke of a hope for the future. (I am not questioning whether their entire Theology is correct in “HOW” or “WHAT” but in the fact they looked forward too)
“And let no one of you say that this very flesh shall not be judged, nor rise again. Consider in what [state] you were saved, in what you received sight, if not while you were in this flesh. We must therefore preserve the flesh as the temple of God”. “The Second Epistle of Clement” chap. 9
“Therefore it may be boldly affirmed that the season of the expected judgment does not require times, but as the resurrection is said to take place in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,1 Corinthians 15:52Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) so I think will the judgment also be”. Origen Commentary on Mathew Bk 14
“May it be seen completely as well in His second glorious Advent, when all nations shall see His glory, and when He comes in the heavens with power and great glory. To that day the remainder of the prophecy must be referred, as I shall show in my own argument. As I have in this Book collected so many passages concerning the prophecies of the coming of God, my next task should be to connect with them an account of what was foretold as to the nature of His entry into human life. De Viris Illustribus (On Illustrious Men) Jerome
“3. And you will also learn about His second glorious and truly divine appearing to us, when no longer in lowliness, but in His own glory—no longer in humble guise, but in His own magnificence—He is to come, no more to suffer, but thenceforth to render to all the fruit of His own Cross, that is, the resurrection and incorruption; and no longer to be judged, but to judge all, by what each has done in the body, whether good or evil; where there is laid up for the good the kingdom of heaven, but for them that have done evil everlasting fire and outer darkness. 4. For thus the Lord Himself also says: Henceforth Matthew 26:64Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven in the glory of the Father. 5. And for this very reason there is also a word of the Savior to prepare us for that day, in these words: Be ready and watch, for He comes at an hour you know not. For, according to the blessed Paul: We must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, that each one may receive according as he has done in the body , whether it be good or bad”. Athanasius “On the Incarnation of the Word “
“3. We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in One Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, God from God, Light from Light, Life from Life, Son Only-begotten, first-born of every creature, before all the ages, begotten from the Father, by Whom also all things were made; Who for our salvation was made flesh, and lived among men, and suffered, and rose again the third day, and ascended to the Father, and will come again in glory to judge the quick and dead. And we believe also in One Holy Ghost:”
Eusebius Letter on the council of Nicea
The Nicene Creed …….from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead;
The Nicene creed alone establishes the "Christian Church" at that time all believed and affirmed Christ had not yet returned!!
All of these quotes which by no means are exhaustive from church fathers but the result of a couple days labor, May it be attested then that no Church Father who held to the creed and by their own words believed that Christ has returned in 70 AD and that the resurrection of the dead which is to accompany his return happened. John who helped established the Church in and around Ephesus not only did not teach or infer that he experienced the “change” or witnessed the resurrection, or was he “resurrected”, or talked of it as a thing of the past to an disciples, instead we have these contemporary church fathers to who John spoke of it all as the future as well as the other events of Revelation.
Let me be noted some of these men lived during the time of John and so hearing HIS teaching never came to the conclusion "Christ returned".
I ask if John experienced the “resurrection” then how did he not pass this on? Why would they teach it is for the future? The final nail is that John did not experience the “change” or the rapture, or the resurrection; he died of an old man in Ephesus and was buried.
What was proven true? John lived and died post 70 AD without the experience of the Resurrection or change. If
Preterist teach the doctrine of “resurrection” is passed then John is a witness against. If the primary principle of any argument or debate is proven false all that is argued is then argued from a faulty premise, thus making the whole of the argument meaningless.
YET we are ask to believe by Preterist they were all wrong, mislead, in apostasy at the time they wrote, or worse yet were part of the "false" church.
Eusebius of Caesarea (263–339)
Eusebius is known as the first Christian historian. He was involved in the transition of the Roman Empire from being hostile to Christianity, to being ruled by the first Christian Emperor, Constantine. He was also caught in the thick of controversies between Arians and the proponents of the Nicene Creed. Though technically Luke wrote the first history of the church, Eusebius, in his major work, Ecclesiastical History, preserves for us many valuable accounts of the martyrs, quotations from many lost works of the Church fathers, and accounts of the authorship of the New Testament. He has been credited with pioneering a type of ancient commentary called the catena, meaning chain, which is a stringing together of interpretations of scripture, proceeding paragraph by paragraph.
Luke 21:20-36Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)
1 For so in truth it was, that when the Romans came and were taking the city, many multitudes of the Jewish people perished in the mouth of the sword;... and when their land was inhabited by strangers, they alone could not enter it.
And Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
2 For at that time when the end of this perishing life shall be accomplished, and, as the Apostle says, The fashion of this world passes away, then shall succeed a new world in which instead of sensible light, Christ Himself shall shine as a sunbeam, and as the King of the new world, and so mighty and glorious will be His light, that the sun which now dazzles so brightly, and the moon and all the stars, shall be hidden by the coming of a far greater Light. And this event shall be succeeded by the distress of the men who survive; as it says, Men's hearts will be dried up for fear.
3 Then also the Son of God shall come in glory, and shall crush the proud empire of the son of sin, the angels of heaven attending Him, the doors of heaven which have been shut from the foundation of the world shall be opened, that the things that are on high may be witnessed.
4 Then to those that are worthy shall be given the promises of salvation. For having received the promises of God which we look for, we who before were crooked shall be made upright, and we shall lift up our heads who were before bent low; because the redemption which we hoped for is at hand; that redemption for which the whole creation waits.
5 By generation He means the new generation of His holy Church, showing that the generation of the faithful would last up to that time, when it would see all things, and embrace with its eyes the fulfillment of our Savior's words. Jesus speaks these things to His disciples, not as if they would continue in this life to the end of the world, but as if uniting in one body of believers in Christ both themselves and us and our posterity, even to the end of the world.
6 In this life, when winter dies away, and spring succeeds, the sun sends forth its warm rays to cherish and quicken the seeds hid in the ground.
They lay aside their first form, and the young plants sprout forth, having put on different shades of green;
So also the glorious coming of the Only-begotten of God, illuminating the new world with His quickening rays, shall bring forth into light
more excellent bodies than before from the seeds that have long been hidden in the whole world, from those who sleep in the dust of the earth.
7 And having vanquished death, He shall reign from henceforth the Life of the new world. Hence it says, Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all those things that shall come to pass