Stephen Whitsett BA
Giving an orthodox apologetic answer for Preterism / Dispensationalism
5 Principles #2
Preterist combine this verse with Mathew 5.18 to imply that Christ came to fulfill all that is written in the Old Testament concerning the days of vengeance.
Luke 21.22, "for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written
In preterist theology since it all happens in "this generation" then 70 AD is the culmination of all the days of vengeance so all prophecy must be fulfilled. Since Old Testament prophecy concerns the "last days" the return, judgment therefore it must all happen by 70 AD. Revelation speaks of his return, the millennium, and the final judgment therefore it to is all about 70 AD. (Hence the need to change the dating of Revelation authorship prior to 70 AD.)
What they fail to understand is the presupposition of "this generation" clouds the issue. The days of vengeance are upon Jerusalem only not the rest of the world or the world of the ungodly as many other scriptures teach. (2 Peter 3) The vengeance is pay back against the Jewish leaders who killed the prophets of God. All that is written is about "all that is written" about the destruction of Jerusalem in the Old Testament.
For example in Deuteronomy 28 Mosses predicted 70 AD.
“ 49“The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand, 50a nation of fierce countenance who will have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young. 51“Moreover, it shall eat the offspring of your herd and the produce of your ground until you are destroyed, who also leaves you no grain, new wine, or oil, nor the increase of your herd or the young of your flock until they have caused you to perish. 52“It shall besiege you in all your towns until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down throughout your land, and it shall besiege you in all your towns throughout your land which the LORD your God has given you. 53“Then you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters whom the LORD your God has given you, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you. 54“The man who is refined and very delicate among you shall be hostile toward his brother and toward the wife he cherishes and toward the rest of his children who remain, 55so that he will not give even one of them any of the flesh of his children which he will eat, since he has nothing else left, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you in all your towns. 56“The refined and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and refinement, shall be hostile toward the husband she cherishes and toward her son and daughter, 57and toward her afterbirth which issues from between her legs and toward her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of anything else, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you in your towns.
In Zechariah 14,
“ 2For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city."
Yet the rest of the chapter describes not 70 AD but a day when God defends the inhabitants of Jerusalem. “11 And it shall be inhabited, for there shall never again be a decree of utter destruction. Jerusalem shall dwell in security.”
The language demands it is speaking of two different “days”.
What Preterist also fail to understand “to fulfill all that was written” refers to all that was written about the days of vengeance. “To fulfill all that was written” begs the question of what is being fulfilled, in context what is being fulfilled is the day of vengeance, nothing more. To claim it has something to do with the fulfillment of ALL Old testament prophecy becomes simply unattainable as Old Testament prophecy speak of different days.
To claim and hold to the idea that. “To fulfill all that was written” is about all Old Testament prophecy becomes clear in the light of Luke 24. 44, “Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Jesus never came to fulfill all old testament prophecy he came to fulfill all Old testament prophecy concerning HIM, meaning Mathew, all the way through his gospel states, "and this was to fulfill what was written by the prophet." concerning Christ and his life. "Born in Bethlehem", "of a virgin", not a bone would be broken" and so forth. Christ fulfilled every prophecy written that was concerning his life down to the smallest detail.
The same it true of this Luke passage, what must be fulfilled is everything written about the days of vengeance, meaning every prophetic scripture that details the destruction of 70 AD MUST COME TO PASS.
What further clouds the issue is claiming these are “the” last days, or the end of an age and so the last age begins that has no end. As we have explained before with “man” having more days behind him than what is front (5000 years of history verses the next 2000 it is easy to say we are in the last days, it can be of 2000 years) we are in the last days of this age, the “age of the gentiles”.
In no way can we say or exegete this verse is about all Old Testament prophecy being fulfilled.
The unintended consequence of believing all things are fulfilled strips the believers life of the real hope and replaces it with the pretend. Pretending that we have received the redemption of the body and even full adoption, or the full reward of salvation becomes not one of physical reality, being face to face with God, but we live out life all ready determined for us of who is going to heaven and who is going to hell, they claim we live in victory in life but yet we live with sickness, disease, and eventual death. This process for them goes on forever. After we die we live in a third dimension on a spiritual plain. We have no idea what is in store for us which takes away our "hope" as there is nothing to hope for but living in "heaven".
I for one as does NT Wright understand that earth was created for man and so our hope is to live in an earth that is remade like new for us to experience "God" by walking with Him in the cool of the day.