Prophetic Interpretation

Prophetic Schools

To lay further questions and objections to rest, another school of interpretation was developed. So just how and when did the Preterist school of prophetic interpretation begin? Dr. Guinness in his book The Approaching End of the Age answers that thought-provoking question with this observation:

The first or PRETERIST scheme, considers these prophecies to have been fulfilled in the downfall of the Jewish nation and the old Roman Empire, limiting their range thus to the first six centuries of the Christian era, and making Nero Antichrist.

This scheme originated with the Jesuit Alcazar toward the end of the sixteenth century; it has been held and taught under various modifications by Grotuis, Hammond, Bossuet, Eichhorn and other German commentators, Moses Stuart, and Dr. Davidson. It has few supporters now, and need not be described more at length.


So why, when and how did Futurism creep into early church doctrine? When this interpretation of prophecy began should be of particular interest to all schools of prophetic interpretation. Dr. Guinness throws open the door of enlightenment to that dubious honor with this revealing bit of history:

We shall show that the futurist school of interpretation, on the contrary, is chiefly represented by teachers belonging to the Church of Rome; that the popes, cardinals, bishops, and priests of that apostate Church are all futurists, and that the futurist interpretation is one of the chief pillars of Romanism.

The former, or futurist system of interpreting the prophecies is now held, strange to say, by many Protestants, but it was first invented by the Jesuit Ribera, at the end of the sixteenth century, to relieve the Papacy from the terrible stigma cast upon it by the Protestant interpretation. This interpretation was so evidently the true and intended one, that the adherents of the Papacy felt its edge must, at any cost, be turned or blunted. If the Papacy were the predicted antichirst, as Protestants asserted, there was an end of the question, and separation from it became an imperative duty.


A panoramic of the entire Mount of Olives (Har...

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On the Mount of Olives, just outside the city of Jerusalem, Christ's Disciples, asked Him what signs would indicate the ending of the age and His return to set up His Kingdom. Jesus' reply to these questions is generally referred to as the Olivet Discourse, and during the course of it He gave certain information which not only describes the Great Tribulation, but which helps us to date its commencement and the geographical location where it would begin. To see this clearly, let us look at the accounts given of the words of the Lord Jesus in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.


The destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.


False Interpretation #1


In the ninth chapter of the Book of Daniel we find a prophecy, commonly referred to as "Daniel's 70th Week," which has become a corner stone and foundation of Futurism. By taking the Scriptures out of their context to make them a pretext, the Futurists tell us that this prophecy foretells the coming of a one-world dictator, the Prince of the Prophecy, who will make a Treaty or Covenant with the Jews, break it after 31/2 years and sit enthroned for worship in a rebuilt Jewish Temple, from which he will impose the Mark of the Beast, and unlease the horrors of the Great Tribulation. To call this interpretation fanciful would be kind, to call it downright deceptive would be accurate. Let us now examine the Seventy Weeks Prophecy and see for ourselves.


The Cross of Jesus Christ is the Focal Point of all Human History and is That Which Gives Meaning to Man's Existence

by Charles A. Jennings

The definition of the word HISTORY is "an account of what has happened in the life and development of a people, country, institution, etc., usually with an analysis and explanation." Looking back through the events of time gives the informed observer insight into the all-important questions, such as the origin and gradual developments of any race, nation or people. Accurate historical accounts tells exactly what happened in past events, but it is the meaning and interpretation of those events where a difference of opinions arise. Because of these differing opinions, a number of interpretations have been set forth by historians in an effort to explain the purpose of what has taken place in the past.


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.