10 Reasons Why ‘This Generation’ Doesn’t Mean ‘My First-Century Audience’

1. Because Christ told the Jews the Great Tribulation would begin when they saw the abomination of desolation (spoken of by Daniel the prophet) stand in the Holy Place (Matt. 24: 15).  There is no evidence that the parallel visions of Daniel 7, 8, 9, 11, & 12 were fulfilled in A.D. 67-70, and yet such evidence is needed to prove that “that generation” saw the “abomination of desolation” which set off the “Great Tribulation.”

2. Because there was no visible coming of Christ in the first century.  The world would not have missed such an event had it happened, for Christ said His coming would be like lightning, shining from the east even unto the west (Matt. 24: 27).

3. Because the view has no Biblical analogy.  God always sent His prophets to address Israel as a corporate body.  There is not one instance in Scripture in which a certain generation of Israelites was singled out to receive teachings that would expire when they ‘passed away.’  The curses of Deut. 28 were spoken by Moses to the “generation in the wilderness,” and yet according to Preterists they weren’t fulfilled until 1,500 years later!  Obviously both Moses and his antitype Jesus Christ were addressing Israel as a corporate body.

4. Because there was no resurrection of the dead in A.D. 70.  To claim that there was is a gratuitous assumption, with no proof whatsoever to back it.  Previous resurrections mentioned in Scripture were verifiable events (e.g. John 11: 43-45; Matt. 27: 52-53).   Why would the wholesale resurrection of believers be any different? Moreover, Daniel places resurrection in connection with the Great Tribulation (Dan. 1-2).  This gives us an important hint (see Reason #1) that the Preterist theory of “this generation” is mistaken.

5. Because the Roman armies were never destroyed in A.D. 70.  According to Scripture, when Christ returns He will fight against the nations that attack Jerusalem (Zech. 12: 9, 14: 3; cf. Isa. 66: 15-16; Zeph. 3: 8).

6. Because the Jewish nation was never converted in A.D. 70.  According to Scripture, Christ will only come back when the Jewish nation repents (Matt. 23: 39; Acts 3: 19-21; Zech. 12: 10).  When the siege is lifted by Messiah, blindness will be permanently removed from the Jewish nation (Isa. 29).

7. Because the alleged ‘tribulation’ of A.D. 67-70 was strictly local in nature.  But according to Scripture, the real tribulation is to include “all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” (Rev. 7: 9-14).  It is likened to “an hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world (kosmos) to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3: 10).

8. Because the early church knew nothing about any parousia happening in the 1st century.  The view that there was an invisible, hypothetical ‘coming of Christ’ in A.D. 70 is a product of post-Reformation theology.  As Thomas Ice has correctly stated: “It was not until the seventeenth century that we have an extant record of anyone suggesting anything like a preterist view that refers Matthew 24:27 and 30 to a.d. 70.”

9.  Because the Olivet Discourse was spoken privately to Peter, James, John, and Andrew (Mark 13: 3), three of whom never lived to see the destruction of the temple; whilst John himself was nowhere near the vicinity of Jerusalem when the temple was destroyed.  Thus when Christ says, “When YE shall see all these things” (Matt. 24: 33), it is obvious that His predictions involve the nation, and not His immediate audience.

10. Because lexicons and concordances always list ‘race/nation’ as an accepted rendering of the Greek word ‘genea.’ The Septuagint warrants this usage in several places (Gen. 31: 3, 43: 7; Lev. 20: 18, 25: 41; Numbers 10: 30; Jer. 8: 3, 10: 23).  Also, when the KJV was first published in 1611, the English word “generation” was often used to denote a race or nation. An early Bible dictionary even lists Matt. 24: 34 as a proof-text for this usage.  For more info, see “The Quarterly Journal of Prophecy.”

12 Comments Add yours

  1. The Abomination of Desolation

    The start of the three and a half year tribulation under the beasts of Revelation chapter 13 will occur once the abomination that makes desolate is SET UP, and then ENFORCED.

    The abomination that makes desolate is a law that will be enacted which will cause as many as will not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

    The law will be SET UP 1290 days prior to the sounding of the Seventh, and final, Trumpet. Thirty days AFTER the law is set up the law will be ENFORCED.

    When the law is SET UP that will be the time that the 144,000 are to flee. The 144,000 are protected during the three and a half years of tribulation when Satan goes after the rest of the seed of the woman.

    Patricia © Bible Prophecy on the Web
    Author of the self-study aid, The Book of Revelation Explained © 1982

  2. Patricia,

    Thanks for that view. However, I believe that the 1290 days begin in the midst of the week (Dan. 12: 11). 30 days extend beyond the time of the end. Then there are an additional 45 days beyond that (Dan. 12: 12). What are these 75 days for?? Evidently for the gathering of the children of Israel abroad into the land of Jerusalem, and for the building and dedication of the Millennial temple.

    Peace & Health,

    Brian

  3. Ron Clark says:

    I would have to disagree with some of what you are saying for the following reasons:
    1. Apocalyptic literature was not meant to be taken literally. The coming of Christ, like the coming of Yahweh in the OT refers to judgemnet (which the destruction of Jerusalem would have been considered as it was with the Babylonians). The language used in Mat. 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 would not have been literal but Apocalyptic–suggesting that God was judging the nation.
    2. Parousia would have been understood as presence, such as the presence of the Roman king which symbolized judgement.
    3. Luke compares the abomination of desolation to Jerusalem being surrounded by armies.
    4. The destruction of Jerusalem did occur during a generation (40 years).

    I like what you have been writing in these posts, they are good.

    Ron Clark

  4. Ron Clark says:

    Also, the Daniel prophecies apply to Antiochus more than the destruction of Jerusalem. Maccabbees calls his desecration an abomination of desolation. However, the desolation in the Gospels would have been another one done by Rome. This seems to be why Luke chooses to refer this to the Roman armies.

  5. Cameron Nigh says:

    Hello,

    I’m not sure your eschatology can rightly be called advanced. There is nothing advanced, or even mediocre about your argumentation and supposed “study”
    All ten of your arguments about generation beg the question. The reasons have to assume what they are trying to prove. That is a fallacy. There is nothing
    in your article on the word for generation. what it means, or how Jesus uses it (some 23 other times) and what he meant when he used it then.

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but you seem to have a far higher view of your own scholarship that your articles warrant.

  6. dion says:

    Sorry but the Bauer-Danker Lexicon refutes your position. Also see Dr. Donald Hagner in the Word B. Commentary on Matt 24. Compare Luke 11:46-51 with Matt 23:29-36. The generation that sees its house desolated is the same that heard His voice. Your only escape is to postulate a double fulfillment schema.

    Daniel was talking about the same resurrection (coming to faith) of Ezk 36! Please prove that the holy people losing power is the church in Dan 12!

    Point 5 is forgetting that Zech in no why intimates that Christ will use literal weapons! Jesus comes with the sword from His mouth: His word either acquits or condemns! Your too influenced with Beale’s work. The idealist ignores the first principle of Hermenutics: the original recipients of the writings as well as the fact you cannot determine when a prophecy has been fulfilled or not. You should read Gary DeMar.

  7. Dion,

    Apparently, you don’t have a clue what I believe. Please check out my podcasts at http://antipreterist.podbean.com

    I will be answering all of the Hyper-Preterist objections during the next few weeks.

    Brian

  8. IamtheWalrus says:

    Preterists cannot refute Matthew 23:39…the Olivet Discourse does have its present fulfillment in some areas, but Israel, as a nation, never repented and have not so far. Brian, keep it up, you are doing great.

  9. Hi Walrus,

    I agree 100%. Thanks for the kind words!

    Peace & Health,

    Brian

  10. LarryLou says:

    Admit it. This is simply arguing that “this generation” really does not mean “this generation.” It’s called shifting goalposts and double standards. Joseph Smith and Charles Taze Russell said the same things to their followers, and you rightly denounce them as false prophets. Now be honest with yourself, admit that Jesus is saying the same thing here, and do the honest thing: admit Jesus was a false prophet.

  11. Joseph B Reyes says:

    Shalom~Peace

    Please allow me to share the following…as conveyed to The US Cardinals and Bishops

    An excerpt:

    No one has to believe, The Ark of The Covenant is The True Presence of The God of Israel on earth, but God’s Chosen Peoples of Israel. As it was in The Old Testament, The Peoples of Israel offered animal sacrifices before The Ark of The Covenant, the true presence of The God of Israel amen!

    No one has to believe, The Holy Eucharist is The True Presence of The Lord Jesus Christ, savior of the world, but the peoples of The Holy Roman Catholic Faith. Today, The New Testament, The Holy Eucharist will be the only sacrifice before the Ark of The Covenant.
    “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3.16

    The phrase Abomination of Desolation refers to 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. This Scripture is referring to Daniel 9:27, He will confirm a covenant with many for one seven. In 167 B.C. a Greek ruler by the name of Antiochus Epiphanies set up an altar to Zeus over the altar of burnt offerings in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. He also sacrificed a pig on the altar in the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is known as the abomination of desolation.

    The Holy Eucharist is the True Presence of The Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Holy and Eucharistic Sacrifice is the Sacrifice to be. All other sacrifices not of The Holy Roman Catholic Faith is The Abomination of Desolation before The God of Israel~God The Father of The Most Holy and Blessed Trinity in Heaven on Earth Amen!

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