Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke (1760 or 1762–1832) was a British Methodist theologian and Biblical scholar, born in the townland of Moybeg Kirley near Tobermore in present-day Northern Ireland. He is chiefly remembered for writing a commentary on the Bible which took him 40 years to complete and which was a primary Methodist theological resource for two centuries.

That commentary, published as: "The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The text carefully printed from the most correct copies of the present Authorized Version. Including the marginal readings and parallel texts. With a Commentary and Critical Notes. Designed as a help to a better understanding of the sacred writings. By Adam Clarke, LL.D. F.S.A. M.R.I.A. With a complete alphabetical index. Royal Octavo Stereotype Edition." [In six volumes of approximately 1,000 pages each] "New York, Published by J. Emory and B. Waugh, for the Methodist Episcopal Church, at the conference office, 13 Crosby-Street. J. Collord, Printer. 1831.", may be the most comprehensive commentary on the Bible ever prepared by one man. By himself he produced nearly half as much material as the scores of scholars who collaborated on the twelve-volume The Interpreters’ Bible. His commentary, particularly that on Revelation, identified the Catholic Church with the antichrist and bordered on antisemitic, as illustrated by the following quote:

“The Jewish philosophy, such as is found the Cabala, Midrashim, and other works, deserves the character of vain deceit, in the fullest sense and meaning of the words. The inspired writers excepted, the Jews have ever been the most puerile, absurd, and ridiculous reasoners in the world. Even Rabbi Maimon or Maimonides, the most intelligent of them all, is often, in his master-piece, the Moreh Neochim, the teacher of the perplexed, most deplorably empty and vain.”

As a theologian, Clarke reinforced the teachings of Methodist founder John Wesley. He taught that the Bible provides a complete interpretation of God's nature and will. He considered Scripture itself a miracle of God's grace that "takes away the veil of darkness and ignorance." With such an understanding, Clarke was first and foremost a Biblical theologian, often uneasy with purely systematic approaches to theology.

Clarke followed Wesley in opposing a Calvinistic scheme of salvation, preferring instead the Wesleyan-Arminian positions regarding predestination, prevenient grace, the offer of justification to all persons, the possibility of entire sanctification, and assurance of salvation.

Perhaps his most controversial position regarded the eternal Sonship of Jesus. Clarke did not believe it Biblically faithful to affirm this doctrine, maintaining that prior to the Incarnation, Jesus was "unoriginated." Otherwise, according to Clarke, he would be subordinate to God and therefore not fully divine. This was important to Clarke because he felt that Jesus' divinity was crucial to understanding the atonement.

Clarke's view was opposed by many Methodists, notably Richard Watson. Watson and his allies argued that Clarke's position jeopardized the integrity of the doctrine of the trinity. Clarke's view was rejected by Methodism in favor of the traditional, orthodox perspective.

Notice to Readers

In an attempt to provide a wide range of opinions and applications within the bounds of the Historicist interpretation of Bible prophecy, we have utilized the research and writings of a variety of scholars and historians. Being that the material found on this website has been written over a period of several hundred years, there will naturally be a difference of opinions and interpretations on various prophecies. This is due to the experience and knowledge along with the political and religious conditions which existed during the life time of each respective writer. For example; the perspective of John Wycliffe of the 14th century in England as opposed to the perspective of a 21st century writer in North America may somewhat differ on the same prophecy due to their respective vantage points of time, location and development of historical events.

These differences by no means invalidate the truthfulness of the Historicist approach to the all-important subject of Bible prophecy. Even though some teachers and writers may differ on some major beliefs such as the rapture, the nature of the Second Coming of Christ, the identification of Israel, or the modern Zionist state of Israeli, each writer sets forth a traditional Protestant view of Bible prophecy that has been unfolding in fulfillment throughout time extending from the Apostolic age until our present age.

Every opinion and/or interpretation presented on this website may not necessarily be the accepted belief of those who have made this website available.