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    An historicist view of the Olivet Discourse.

    There are a number of views of the Olivet Discourse, including Historicist, the Preterist, and the Futurist. The Historicist interpreter sees biblical prophecies as being already fulfilled. For example, if you believe Jesus, at his 1st Coming, fulfilled biblical prophecy, then you've indulged in an historicist interpretation.


    Others believe in Futurist interpretations. If you believe that Jesus is Coming Again a 2nd time then you've indulged in futurist interpretation.


    The Preterist is, in my opinion, too unorthodox, because he believes that most all of biblical prophecy has already been fulfilled, and very little future prophecy remains to be fulfilled. Most people have a combination of historicist and futurist interpretations. For example, most Christians believe that biblical prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus' 1st Coming, and will also be fulfilled in Jesus' 2nd Coming. Much less do people believe that virtually all biblical prophecy was fulfilled in the past.


    I believe in a combination of both historicist and futurist interpretations, but I want to focus in particular upon the Olivet Discourse, where these various interpretive systems really have a conflict. I would argue that most of the Early Church Fathers believed that the Olivet Discourse focused primarily on the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD as a sign of God's rejection of Jewish worship. The temple was completely destroyed.


    Luke 21.5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”
    7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”.....
    20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.....
    32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened."


    Jesus began the Discourse at the temple, where he declared straight out that the temple would be destroyed, stone by stone. And when asked *when* this event would take place he explained it would take place in his own generation. And so, the Church Fathers largely saw in the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem an historicist fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy.


    However, a couple of Church Fathers, Irenaeus and his disciple Hippolytus, saw in this same Discourse a prophecy of the coming Antichrist. This was the futurist interpretation. Although Antichrist himself is not named in Jesus' Olivet Discourse, Irenaeus assumed that this was talking about Antichrist, because he saw in the term "Abomination of Desolation" a picture of the Antichrist. (see Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5.25.1-5)


    Since Irenaeus was a notable futurist interpreter of the Olivet Discourse, let's examine why he inserted Antichrist into this discussion. Let me just say that he saw in the term "Abomination of Desolation" the Antichrist because he saw a relationship between 2 Thessalonians 2 and Matthew 24. As the Abomination "stands in the Holy Place,"the Antichrist "sits in the temple of God." These two passages sound alike, but are not necessarily the same thing. However, Irenaeus thought so.


    Matthew 24.15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."
    2 Thess 2.4 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.


    The Preterists, by contrast, see the Abomination of Desolation as historically fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. But they go much farther and refuse to accept a future Beast and and a future Antichrist, which is portrayed in the book of Revelation. These are portrayed as taking place in the last 3.5 years of the age in Revelation 13.


    They believe the Beast was fulfilled in the ancient Roman Empire. And they believe that the Antichrist was fulfilled in either Nero or in some other ruler in ancient history. Since Preterism was introduced by Alcasar in the early 17th century, it is not really an interpretation with a great depth of historical validation.


    As I said, most of the Church Fathers seemed to favor the historicist position, which I also take. And even the Preterists take some of this position. But the historicist position does not mean that there are no futurist elements in the Olivet Discourse. It only means that they see the primary focus of the Discourse, with respect to the Abomination of Desolation, to be the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Other elements in the Discourse remain future, such as the preaching of the gospel to all nations and the dispersion of the Jews into all nations. And of course, Christ comes the 2nd time to defeat the Antichrist.


    So let's take a look at how the Abomination of Desolation should be viewed, from an historicist perspective. 1st, the Abomination of Desolation contains the word "desolation," which corresponds to Jesus' description of the temple's desolation. Furthermore, since Jesus said this would take place in his own generation, this "desolation" could only have been the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.


    Secondly, Luke in ch. 21 explicitly declares that Jerusalem, in the process of being destroyed, would be encircled by armies. This is said in the same place in the Discourse where the other versions describe the Abomination of Desolation. Thus, the Abomination of Desolation is the encirclement of Jerusalem by armies.


    Matthew and Mark latched onto Jesus' words, the "Abomination of Deesolation," while Luke latched onto Jesus' description of the "encirclement of Jerusalem by armies." Jesus' actual discourse was likely much longer than we have recorded, and Jesus likely referred to both the Abomination of Desolation and the encirclement of Jerusalem by armies. But since the Abomination of Desolation and the encirclement of Jerusalem by armies take place in the exact same place in the Discourse, they likely referred to the same event.


    Thirdly, historicists would see a connection between the destruction of Jerusalem Jesus described and Daniel's description, in ch. 9, of the same. In Daniel 9 is the famous 70 Weeks Prophecy, which is fulfilled with the cutting off of Christ, and with the destruction of "the city and the sanctuary. And later he described it as the "Abomination of Desolation."


    However, there are several references to an Abomination of Desolation in Daniel. Some of these references seem to apply to Antiochus 4 of the 2nd century AD. Only one of these references refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in the time of Christ, and that is in Dan 9.


    And so, the Olivet Discourse appears to be Jesus' version of the 70 Weeks Prophecy in Daniel 9, identifying the Abomination of Desolation as the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. It is at that time, when Jerusalem is defeated by the Romans, that the period of great tribulation begins for the Jewish People, ending with the fulfillment of the "times of the Gentiles" at the end of the age. In the meantime, believers among the Jews initially, and later Christians from all nations, suffer in this tribulation, as they await the end of their gospel mission.


    There is concern about how the Abomination of Desolation can "stand in the holy place," and many have disagreed on exactly what the "abomination" is, and where it "stands?" I personally believe it is self-explanatory in Luke's version, and in Daniel 9 itself. It is the armies of Rome who stand against Jerusalem and the temple, encircling Jerusalem and laying siege against it, that identifies them as an "abomination" standing on the "holy outskirts" of Jerusalem.


    Some see the "Holy Place" here as the temple itself. But the armies initially surrounded Jerusalem in 66 AD, and withdrew, giving time for Christians to flee from the city and from the countryside. The actual destruction of the city took place later in 70 AD when a 2nd Army arrived in Jerusalem to destroy the city and the sanctuary.


    I see no need, however, to believe the "holy place" refers to the temple, even though that is the most common use of the term "holy place." Rather, an area adjacent to God's dwelling place can be viewed itself as a "holy place," and not strictly the area where God Himself sits.


    For example, the Holy Place inside the temple was adjacent to God's dwelling in the Holy of Holies. The courtyard of the priests was considered a "holy place" because it was adjacent to the temple. And Jerusalem itself is considered the "holy city" because it is the city surrounding the temple courtyard and the temple itself.


    So I would ask, why wouldn't the area around Jerusalem be considered holy if it is adjacent to the holy city? In fact these armies are described by Jesus as "standing in the holy place" when they lay siege to Jerusalem. So it must be that the holy place is the territory in the vicinity of Jerusalem from which an army can attack.

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    Re: An historicist view of the Olivet Discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    There are a number of views of the Olivet Discourse, including Historicist, the Preterist, and the Futurist. The Historicist interpreter sees biblical prophecies as being already fulfilled. For example, if you believe Jesus, at his 1st Coming, fulfilled biblical prophecy, then you've indulged in an historicist interpretation.


    Others believe in Futurist interpretations. If you believe that Jesus is Coming Again a 2nd time then you've indulged in futurist interpretation.


    The Preterist is, in my opinion, too unorthodox, because he believes that most all of biblical prophecy has already been fulfilled, and very little future prophecy remains to be fulfilled. Most people have a combination of historicist and futurist interpretations. For example, most Christians believe that biblical prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus' 1st Coming, and will also be fulfilled in Jesus' 2nd Coming. Much less do people believe that virtually all biblical prophecy was fulfilled in the past.


    I believe in a combination of both historicist and futurist interpretations, but I want to focus in particular upon the Olivet Discourse, where these various interpretive systems really have a conflict. I would argue that most of the Early Church Fathers believed that the Olivet Discourse focused primarily on the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD as a sign of God's rejection of Jewish worship. The temple was completely destroyed.


    Luke 21.5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”
    7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”.....
    20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.....
    32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened."


    Jesus began the Discourse at the temple, where he declared straight out that the temple would be destroyed, stone by stone. And when asked *when* this event would take place he explained it would take place in his own generation. And so, the Church Fathers largely saw in the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem an historicist fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy.


    However, a couple of Church Fathers, Irenaeus and his disciple Hippolytus, saw in this same Discourse a prophecy of the coming Antichrist. This was the futurist interpretation. Although Antichrist himself is not named in Jesus' Olivet Discourse, Irenaeus assumed that this was talking about Antichrist, because he saw in the term "Abomination of Desolation" a picture of the Antichrist. (see Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5.25.1-5)


    Since Irenaeus was a notable futurist interpreter of the Olivet Discourse, let's examine why he inserted Antichrist into this discussion. Let me just say that he saw in the term "Abomination of Desolation" the Antichrist because he saw a relationship between 2 Thessalonians 2 and Matthew 24. As the Abomination "stands in the Holy Place,"the Antichrist "sits in the temple of God." These two passages sound alike, but are not necessarily the same thing. However, Irenaeus thought so.


    Matthew 24.15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."
    2 Thess 2.4 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.


    The Preterists, by contrast, see the Abomination of Desolation as historically fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. But they go much farther and refuse to accept a future Beast and and a future Antichrist, which is portrayed in the book of Revelation. These are portrayed as taking place in the last 3.5 years of the age in Revelation 13.


    They believe the Beast was fulfilled in the ancient Roman Empire. And they believe that the Antichrist was fulfilled in either Nero or in some other ruler in ancient history. Since Preterism was introduced by Alcasar in the early 17th century, it is not really an interpretation with a great depth of historical validation.


    As I said, most of the Church Fathers seemed to favor the historicist position, which I also take. And even the Preterists take some of this position. But the historicist position does not mean that there are no futurist elements in the Olivet Discourse. It only means that they see the primary focus of the Discourse, with respect to the Abomination of Desolation, to be the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Other elements in the Discourse remain future, such as the preaching of the gospel to all nations and the dispersion of the Jews into all nations. And of course, Christ comes the 2nd time to defeat the Antichrist.


    So let's take a look at how the Abomination of Desolation should be viewed, from an historicist perspective. 1st, the Abomination of Desolation contains the word "desolation," which corresponds to Jesus' description of the temple's desolation. Furthermore, since Jesus said this would take place in his own generation, this "desolation" could only have been the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.


    Secondly, Luke in ch. 21 explicitly declares that Jerusalem, in the process of being destroyed, would be encircled by armies. This is said in the same place in the Discourse where the other versions describe the Abomination of Desolation. Thus, the Abomination of Desolation is the encirclement of Jerusalem by armies.


    Matthew and Mark latched onto Jesus' words, the "Abomination of Deesolation," while Luke latched onto Jesus' description of the "encirclement of Jerusalem by armies." Jesus' actual discourse was likely much longer than we have recorded, and Jesus likely referred to both the Abomination of Desolation and the encirclement of Jerusalem by armies. But since the Abomination of Desolation and the encirclement of Jerusalem by armies take place in the exact same place in the Discourse, they likely referred to the same event.


    Thirdly, historicists would see a connection between the destruction of Jerusalem Jesus described and Daniel's description, in ch. 9, of the same. In Daniel 9 is the famous 70 Weeks Prophecy, which is fulfilled with the cutting off of Christ, and with the destruction of "the city and the sanctuary. And later he described it as the "Abomination of Desolation."


    However, there are several references to an Abomination of Desolation in Daniel. Some of these references seem to apply to Antiochus 4 of the 2nd century AD. Only one of these references refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in the time of Christ, and that is in Dan 9.


    And so, the Olivet Discourse appears to be Jesus' version of the 70 Weeks Prophecy in Daniel 9, identifying the Abomination of Desolation as the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. It is at that time, when Jerusalem is defeated by the Romans, that the period of great tribulation begins for the Jewish People, ending with the fulfillment of the "times of the Gentiles" at the end of the age. In the meantime, believers among the Jews initially, and later Christians from all nations, suffer in this tribulation, as they await the end of their gospel mission.


    There is concern about how the Abomination of Desolation can "stand in the holy place," and many have disagreed on exactly what the "abomination" is, and where it "stands?" I personally believe it is self-explanatory in Luke's version, and in Daniel 9 itself. It is the armies of Rome who stand against Jerusalem and the temple, encircling Jerusalem and laying siege against it, that identifies them as an "abomination" standing on the "holy outskirts" of Jerusalem.


    Some see the "Holy Place" here as the temple itself. But the armies initially surrounded Jerusalem in 66 AD, and withdrew, giving time for Christians to flee from the city and from the countryside. The actual destruction of the city took place later in 70 AD when a 2nd Army arrived in Jerusalem to destroy the city and the sanctuary.


    I see no need, however, to believe the "holy place" refers to the temple, even though that is the most common use of the term "holy place." Rather, an area adjacent to God's dwelling place can be viewed itself as a "holy place," and not strictly the area where God Himself sits.


    For example, the Holy Place inside the temple was adjacent to God's dwelling in the Holy of Holies. The courtyard of the priests was considered a "holy place" because it was adjacent to the temple. And Jerusalem itself is considered the "holy city" because it is the city surrounding the temple courtyard and the temple itself.


    So I would ask, why wouldn't the area around Jerusalem be considered holy if it is adjacent to the holy city? In fact these armies are described by Jesus as "standing in the holy place" when they lay siege to Jerusalem. So it must be that the holy place is the territory in the vicinity of Jerusalem from which an army can attack.
    I agree with you the area around Jerusalem was holy which makes perfect sense as the Christians would have a chance to leave once the army retreated

    Apparently know one knows why Gallus decided to retreat from the city before he was defeated at the battle of Beth Heron it must of been Devine intravention. Can you imagine how the Christians felt when they saw the romans retreat? How they must of praised God

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    Re: An historicist view of the Olivet Discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by marty fox View Post
    I agree with you the area around Jerusalem was holy which makes perfect sense as the Christians would have a chance to leave once the army retreated

    Apparently know one knows why Gallus decided to retreat from the city before he was defeated at the battle of Beth Heron it must of been Devine intravention. Can you imagine how the Christians felt when they saw the romans retreat? How they must of praised God
    Amen to that brother. Jesus is God!

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    Re: An historicist view of the Olivet Discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Amen to that brother. Jesus is God!
    Yeah and it makes my head spin that Christians don’t think that this is what Jesus was talking about LOL

    Plus the fact that it did happen within that generation

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    Re: An historicist view of the Olivet Discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by marty fox View Post
    Yeah and it makes my head spin that Christians don’t think that this is what Jesus was talking about LOL

    Plus the fact that it did happen within that generation
    I believe there is a danger in getting caught up in prophecy and predictions, which can be very addicting. We get more interested in forecasting things than in living godly lives, which is really what our mission is.

    I hold to some elements of futurism, but Jesus made it clear that it was never to be for the purpose of predicting "times and seasons." However, he was warning about an imminent event that made attending to their spiritual lives of primary importance. This was a judgment event, directed at the Jewish People as a whole, because sin had leavened through the whole lump. Jesus wanted his followers to free themselves from this "group think," from the sin of ethnic love, from loyalty to sinful people.

    Sometimes there is indeed given prophecy to warn people that there are more immediate consequences for their sins. But the worst judgment that lies ahead is the one that determines our eternal future. In preparing ourselves now, not only can we avoid judgments in this life, but we can also avoid the judgment to come.

    I appreciate our common beliefs on this matter!

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    Re: An historicist view of the Olivet Discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by marty fox View Post
    I agree with you the area around Jerusalem was holy which makes perfect sense as the Christians would have a chance to leave once the army retreated.
    The area around Jerusalem (OUTSIDE the city) was NOT known as being a Holy place.
    We know this for the simple reason of where Jesus was crucified.
    He was crucified OUTSIDE the city.
    Further OUTSIDE the city was also the valley of Hinom, which was the rubbish dump and definitely NOT holy.

    In scripture the phrase "the Holy Place" ONLY refers to the place INSIDE the Temple.
    So Luke 21:20 was seen as fulfilled in 66 AD, but Matt 24:15 was NOT.

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    Re: An historicist view of the Olivet Discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory View Post
    The area around Jerusalem (OUTSIDE the city) was NOT known as being a Holy place.
    We know this for the simple reason of where Jesus was crucified.
    He was crucified OUTSIDE the city.
    Further OUTSIDE the city was also the valley of Hinom, which was the rubbish dump and definitely NOT holy.

    In scripture the phrase "the Holy Place" ONLY refers to the place INSIDE the Temple.
    So Luke 21:20 was seen as fulfilled in 66 AD, but Matt 24:15 was NOT.
    Revelation places outside of the city as a part of Jerusalem

    Revelation 11:8
    8 Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified.

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    Re: An historicist view of the Olivet Discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by marty fox View Post
    Revelation places outside of the city as a part of Jerusalem

    Revelation 11:8
    8 Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified.
    Whoa, I never saw that, Marty! Thanks for that!

    Beyond that I posted earlier on how "holy place" could be used, including in places *outside of* the temple itself. It is most certainly used most often in the OT of the temple, because that is where God dwelled among Israel under the Old Covenant. God's representative place of dwelling was in the Holy of Holies, within the temple. Adjacent to that was an area called the "Holy Place," which was holy by virtue of it being where the priests ministered to God, and by virtue of it being right next to the Holy of Holies, where God dwelled.

    Outside the temple, in the courtyard, were areas where the priests ministered. This also was called a "holy place" in the Scriptures, due to it being the place where priests ministered to God, and due to it being right next to the temple itself.

    Finally, places outside the temple were referred to as a holy territory as well, by virtue of it being right next to the courtyard of the temple. For example, in Ezekiel 40-48 there is a *holy acreage* around the temple area--holy by virtue of it containing the temple itself, and also by virtue of it being a place where the priests live as ministers of God.

    The city of Jerusalem itself is called the "holy city" because it contains the temple, as well. As you can see, an area in proximity to, or adjacent to, the temple area, where the priests ministered, was also called a "holy place."

    What is interesting is that when priests ministered to God they were often portrayed as "standing" before the Lord. But in the context of the Abomination of Desolation, we have an Army "standing" around the holy city, to desolate it. Thus, this was a different kind of "holy place." It was a place adjacent to the temple area, and adjacent to the holy city, where they were poised to destroy them both.

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    Re: An historicist view of the Olivet Discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by marty fox View Post
    Revelation places outside of the city as a part of Jerusalem

    Revelation 11:8
    8 Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified.
    Nope.
    What Revelation does NOT do is claim that Jesus was crucified IN the public square of the great city of Jerusalem.
    Rather it is noting the location of Jerusalem as opposed to Jericho or Alexandria or Rome.

    IOW Jesus was crucified AT Jerusalem, but NOT IN Jerusalem.
    So OUTSIDE is NOT part of the city.

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    Re: An historicist view of the Olivet Discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by marty fox View Post
    Revelation places outside of the city as a part of Jerusalem

    Revelation 11:8
    8 Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified.
    As I seem unable to edit posts - you miss the point that Hebrews 13 shows that OUTSIDE the city, where Jesus was crucified, is NOT a Holy place.
    It is EXPLICIT in the verses quoted, that ONE place is "the Holy Place" and the OTHER place is NOT a Holy place at all.

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    Re: An historicist view of the Olivet Discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    There are a number of views of the Olivet Discourse, including Historicist, the Preterist, and the Futurist. The Historicist interpreter sees biblical prophecies as being already fulfilled. For example, if you believe Jesus, at his 1st Coming, fulfilled biblical prophecy, then you've indulged in an historicist interpretation.
    Hey randy, I agree these three systems all see it all different. Your bolded statement above confuses me tho ..



    Others believe in Futurist interpretations. If you believe that Jesus is Coming Again a 2nd time then you've indulged in futurist interpretation.


    The Preterist is, in my opinion, too unorthodox, because he believes that most all of biblical prophecy has already been fulfilled, and very little future prophecy remains to be fulfilled. Most people have a combination of historicist and futurist interpretations. For example, most Christians believe that biblical prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus' 1st Coming, and will also be fulfilled in Jesus' 2nd Coming. Much less do people believe that virtually all biblical prophecy was fulfilled in the past.


    I believe in a combination of both historicist and futurist interpretations, but I want to focus in particular upon the Olivet Discourse, where these various interpretive systems really have a conflict. I would argue that most of the Early Church Fathers believed that the Olivet Discourse focused primarily on the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD as a sign of God's rejection of Jewish worship. The temple was completely destroyed.


    Luke 21.5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”
    7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”.....
    20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.....
    32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened."


    Jesus began the Discourse at the temple, where he declared straight out that the temple would be destroyed, stone by stone. And when asked *when* this event would take place he explained it would take place in his own generation. And so, the Church Fathers largely saw in the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem an historicist fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy.


    However, a couple of Church Fathers, Irenaeus and his disciple Hippolytus, saw in this same Discourse a prophecy of the coming Antichrist. This was the futurist interpretation. Although Antichrist himself is not named in Jesus' Olivet Discourse, Irenaeus assumed that this was talking about Antichrist, because he saw in the term "Abomination of Desolation" a picture of the Antichrist. (see Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5.25.1-5)


    Since Irenaeus was a notable futurist interpreter of the Olivet Discourse, let's examine why he inserted Antichrist into this discussion. Let me just say that he saw in the term "Abomination of Desolation" the Antichrist because he saw a relationship between 2 Thessalonians 2 and Matthew 24. As the Abomination "stands in the Holy Place,"the Antichrist "sits in the temple of God." These two passages sound alike, but are not necessarily the same thing. However, Irenaeus thought so.


    Matthew 24.15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."
    2 Thess 2.4 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.


    The Preterists, by contrast, see the Abomination of Desolation as historically fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. But they go much farther and refuse to accept a future Beast and and a future Antichrist, which is portrayed in the book of Revelation. These are portrayed as taking place in the last 3.5 years of the age in Revelation 13.


    They believe the Beast was fulfilled in the ancient Roman Empire. And they believe that the Antichrist was fulfilled in either Nero or in some other ruler in ancient history. Since Preterism was introduced by Alcasar in the early 17th century, it is not really an interpretation with a great depth of historical validation.


    As I said, most of the Church Fathers seemed to favor the historicist position, which I also take. And even the Preterists take some of this position. But the historicist position does not mean that there are no futurist elements in the Olivet Discourse. It only means that they see the primary focus of the Discourse, with respect to the Abomination of Desolation, to be the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Other elements in the Discourse remain future, such as the preaching of the gospel to all nations and the dispersion of the Jews into all nations. And of course, Christ comes the 2nd time to defeat the Antichrist.


    So let's take a look at how the Abomination of Desolation should be viewed, from an historicist perspective. 1st, the Abomination of Desolation contains the word "desolation," which corresponds to Jesus' description of the temple's desolation. Furthermore, since Jesus said this would take place in his own generation, this "desolation" could only have been the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.


    Secondly, Luke in ch. 21 explicitly declares that Jerusalem, in the process of being destroyed, would be encircled by armies. This is said in the same place in the Discourse where the other versions describe the Abomination of Desolation. Thus, the Abomination of Desolation is the encirclement of Jerusalem by armies.


    Matthew and Mark latched onto Jesus' words, the "Abomination of Deesolation," while Luke latched onto Jesus' description of the "encirclement of Jerusalem by armies." Jesus' actual discourse was likely much longer than we have recorded, and Jesus likely referred to both the Abomination of Desolation and the encirclement of Jerusalem by armies. But since the Abomination of Desolation and the encirclement of Jerusalem by armies take place in the exact same place in the Discourse, they likely referred to the same event.


    Thirdly, historicists would see a connection between the destruction of Jerusalem Jesus described and Daniel's description, in ch. 9, of the same. In Daniel 9 is the famous 70 Weeks Prophecy, which is fulfilled with the cutting off of Christ, and with the destruction of "the city and the sanctuary. And later he described it as the "Abomination of Desolation."


    However, there are several references to an Abomination of Desolation in Daniel. Some of these references seem to apply to Antiochus 4 of the 2nd century AD. Only one of these references refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in the time of Christ, and that is in Dan 9.


    And so, the Olivet Discourse appears to be Jesus' version of the 70 Weeks Prophecy in Daniel 9, identifying the Abomination of Desolation as the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. It is at that time, when Jerusalem is defeated by the Romans, that the period of great tribulation begins for the Jewish People, ending with the fulfillment of the "times of the Gentiles" at the end of the age. In the meantime, believers among the Jews initially, and later Christians from all nations, suffer in this tribulation, as they await the end of their gospel mission.


    There is concern about how the Abomination of Desolation can "stand in the holy place," and many have disagreed on exactly what the "abomination" is, and where it "stands?" I personally believe it is self-explanatory in Luke's version, and in Daniel 9 itself. It is the armies of Rome who stand against Jerusalem and the temple, encircling Jerusalem and laying siege against it, that identifies them as an "abomination" standing on the "holy outskirts" of Jerusalem.


    Some see the "Holy Place" here as the temple itself. But the armies initially surrounded Jerusalem in 66 AD, and withdrew, giving time for Christians to flee from the city and from the countryside. The actual destruction of the city took place later in 70 AD when a 2nd Army arrived in Jerusalem to destroy the city and the sanctuary.


    I see no need, however, to believe the "holy place" refers to the temple, even though that is the most common use of the term "holy place." Rather, an area adjacent to God's dwelling place can be viewed itself as a "holy place," and not strictly the area where God Himself sits.


    For example, the Holy Place inside the temple was adjacent to God's dwelling in the Holy of Holies. The courtyard of the priests was considered a "holy place" because it was adjacent to the temple. And Jerusalem itself is considered the "holy city" because it is the city surrounding the temple courtyard and the temple itself.


    So I would ask, why wouldn't the area around Jerusalem be considered holy if it is adjacent to the holy city? In fact these armies are described by Jesus as "standing in the holy place" when they lay siege to Jerusalem. So it must be that the holy place is the territory in the vicinity of Jerusalem from which an army can attack.[/QUOTE]
    “A” cannot be “A” & not “A” at the same time.



  12. #12
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    Re: An historicist view of the Olivet Discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesky22 View Post
    Hey randy, I agree these three systems all see it all different. Your bolded statement above confuses me tho ..
    Yes, historicists and preterists both hold to some elements of futurism. And all systems of interpretation, futurist, historicist, and preterist, hold to elements of historicism. For example, all believe that Jesus, in being born in Bethlehem, fulfilled biblical prophecy in history, when he was born.

    The question is, To what degree do we interpret things historically, and to what degree to we interpret things in a futuristic way? Discussion of the Olivet Discourse shows how these 3 systems determine what system of interpretation is more pronounced in this particular passage.

    Unless you're a full preterist, you believe that Jesus' 2nd Coming is still future in this Discourse. And yet, historicists and preterists would agree that this Discourse is primarily a warning to the budding Jewish church that Israel was about to be judged in 70 AD. Armies would surround the holy city, and they would "stand in the holy place," which I believe was in the vicinity of Jerusalem, laying siege to it.

    Nothing could be clearer to me. Daniel 9 teaches the same exact thing, that the city would be destroyed in the time after the Messiah is cut off. And it was called the "abomination of desolation." I don't have any doubts that the AoD Jesus referred to was the Roman Army--an historicist interpretation. But preterists would see it this way as well. Futurists would not.

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    Re: An historicist view of the Olivet Discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Yes, historicists and preterists both hold to some elements of futurism. And all systems of interpretation, futurist, historicist, and preterist, hold to elements of historicism. For example, all believe that Jesus, in being born in Bethlehem, fulfilled biblical prophecy in history, when he was born.

    The question is, To what degree do we interpret things historically, and to what degree to we interpret things in a futuristic way? Discussion of the Olivet Discourse shows how these 3 systems determine what system of interpretation is more pronounced in this particular passage.

    Unless you're a full preterist, you believe that Jesus' 2nd Coming is still future in this Discourse. And yet, historicists and preterists would agree that this Discourse is primarily a warning to the budding Jewish church that Israel was about to be judged in 70 AD. Armies would surround the holy city, and they would "stand in the holy place," which I believe was in the vicinity of Jerusalem, laying siege to it.

    Nothing could be clearer to me. Daniel 9 teaches the same exact thing, that the city would be destroyed in the time after the Messiah is cut off. And it was called the "abomination of desolation." I don't have any doubts that the AoD Jesus referred to was the Roman Army--an historicist interpretation. But preterists would see it this way as well. Futurists would not.
    Hi Randyk, I am just curious, why is this so important to you? You also believe in a 3.5 year final period as per many verses elsewhere, surely your emphasis as we are going into the end-times should be on warning people regarding this short 3.5 year period? I don't see the motivation for multiple threads that diminish the futurist view of the Olivet discourse. A futurist view of the Olivet discourse will do little damage because the events do have a strong precise overlap with the specific events of the final 3.5 years, what will do damage is needless discussions focussing on history, when the bible has a strong emphasis on this short future period.

    And even if the abomination was in the past, a future worshipped image as described by Rev 13 is surely an abominable event. So even if futurists somehow are misinterpreting the Olivet discourse, we will be getting the final warning perfectly correct of an abomination followed by a troublesome period and then the second coming as described by Rev 13. Somehow the Olivet discourse manages to match those events in the right sequence.

  14. #14

    Re: An historicist view of the Olivet Discourse.

    RandyK... I love your posts and the thoughtful diligence put into them!

    That said, I think you might be making the abomination that causes desolation more complicated than it has to be, hopefully you'll consider these points.

    Luke's writings, as I understand it, were mainly for the benefit of the gentile audience. For that reason, I believe he posited a different sign for them as they would have no understanding of Daniel's abomination which causes desolation.

    For example; I might tell a fellow Indiana University Basketball fan "Be sure to arrive before the William Tell Overture", however if I'm speaking to someone unfamiliar with the Indiana Basketball traditions, I would just say "Be sure to arrive before tip-off". The William Tell Overture and the opening tip-off are two totally different things, but I'm intimating basically the same point.

    The scriptural evidence is obviously key though, I think. At the beginning of Matt 23 Jesus says that the scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat, then at the end he tells those scribes and Pharisees "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate". In between Jesus outlines 7 woes unto the scribes and Pharisees, in which I think he makes it clear that they, themselves are the authors of their own desolation.

    Also, you have Luke 16:14-15 where the Pharisees are described as an abomination to God... 14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. 15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

    In my opinion, It was the wicked (lawless) Jewish leadership who killed Christ (Acts 2:22-24) and sit where they ought not that were in fact the abomination that causes desolation. Gentile believers would have no knowledge of Daniel, therefor Luke said "20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh."

    I had a couple of other interesting verses that came to mind, but my original reply was mostly lost due to an error.

    Even if you don't agree with any of these points, I hope that this 2nd effort still makes enough sense that you can see where I am coming from.

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    Re: An historicist view of the Olivet Discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shimatoree66 View Post
    RandyK... I love your posts and the thoughtful diligence put into them!

    That said, I think you might be making the abomination that causes desolation more complicated than it has to be, hopefully you'll consider these points.

    Luke's writings, as I understand it, were mainly for the benefit of the gentile audience. For that reason, I believe he posited a different sign for them as they would have no understanding of Daniel's abomination which causes desolation.

    For example; I might tell a fellow Indiana University Basketball fan "Be sure to arrive before the William Tell Overture", however if I'm speaking to someone unfamiliar with the Indiana Basketball traditions, I would just say "Be sure to arrive before tip-off". The William Tell Overture and the opening tip-off are two totally different things, but I'm intimating basically the same point.

    The scriptural evidence is obviously key though, I think. At the beginning of Matt 23 Jesus says that the scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat, then at the end he tells those scribes and Pharisees "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate". In between Jesus outlines 7 woes unto the scribes and Pharisees, in which I think he makes it clear that they, themselves are the authors of their own desolation.

    Also, you have Luke 16:14-15 where the Pharisees are described as an abomination to God... 14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. 15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

    In my opinion, It was the wicked (lawless) Jewish leadership who killed Christ (Acts 2:22-24) and sit where they ought not that were in fact the abomination that causes desolation. Gentile believers would have no knowledge of Daniel, therefor Luke said "20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh."

    I had a couple of other interesting verses that came to mind, but my original reply was mostly lost due to an error.

    Even if you don't agree with any of these points, I hope that this 2nd effort still makes enough sense that you can see where I am coming from.
    No, that's totally legit, brother! Just like I said to DD, other views do not necessarily detract from the message. We can interpret things from several directions, and even from the wrong direction, and still get across good messages. And that's because when we interpret a passage, we use a biblical basis to make our argument. And that way, we are still communicating a biblical message, whether the interpretation is right or not.

    Whether you're right that the "AoD" is the Jews, or I'm right that the "AoD" is the Romans, we both are passing along a *biblical message* because the basis of our arguments are *biblical.* The Jews, in the majority, apostacized, and went corrupt. And the Romans were abominable pagans who the Jewish believers were to distance themselves from (not in terms of evangelism, but in terms of participating in their sins).

    I have a good friend in Indiana. He might identify with you--I don't.

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