Full Preterism is, in my opinion, just plain wrong. This article explains why.

Read a detailed analysis of the doctrine of Imminency.

   End Time Prophecy Leads to Rome | The Kingdom of Israel

Verse index: 1 Corinthians 1:8 | 1 Corinthians 15:20-24 | Hebrews 9:28 | Romans 1:18 | Romans 2:5 | Colossians 3:4 | 1 Thessalonians 1:10 | 1 Thessalonians 2:16 | Matthew 24:34 | Matthew 24:30-31 | 1 Corinthians 11:26 | 1 Timothy 6:14 | 2 Peter 3:10,12 | Matthew 16:27,28 | Matthew 24:14 | 2 Timothy 4:1 | 1 Corinthians 15:51 | Mark 14:62 | Isaiah 19:1 | Revelation 20:4-6 | Dan 12:1-9 | Luke 21:22 | Hebrews 8:13 | Eccl 1:4 | Isaiah 65:20 | Revelation 22:2 | Revelation 22:15 | Hebrews 12:22 | Ephesians 1:21 | Revelation 3:11 | Romans 16:20 | Romans 2:5,6 | Romans 8:21 | Romans 11:25,26 | 2 Corinthians 5:2 | Colossians 2:15 | Ephesians 1:20,21 | Ephesians 1:22 | Philippians 1:6 | 1 John 3:2 |

Partial Preterism is the idea that most, but not all, of the end-time prophecies were fulfilled on or before 70 A.D. Amillennialism is a form of Partial Preterism. In Partial Preterism the only prophetic events remaining to be fulfilled are:

Full Preterists claim that even these events have already been fulfilled. (Full Preterism is often called simply "preterism"). I reject Full Preterism. There are other varieties of Preterism which claim that some of the events I have listed have already been fulfilled.

My main objections to Full Preterism


Problems with Full Preterism 

Full Preterism is derived by reading the Olivet Discourse in Mathew 24 with two assumptions:

  1. That Jesus is speaking about (1) the destruction of Jerusalem, and (2) of His second coming as one event, and
  2. That there is no "gap" before Mathew 24:27, even though there is a clear gap in the parallel account in Luke 21:24.

Read a harmonization of the Olivet Discourse from the gospel accounts.


Troublesome Passages

Many passages in the Bible are very troubling when looked at from the Full Preterist perspective. I describe here a few of the worst cases.


Trivializing the Second Coming

He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:8)

In Full Preterism, the day of the Lord is the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. This verse is applied to that time and no longer applies to any Christian after that time. But the whole point of the gospel is that the work of Christ applies to all believers of all time, not just the period before 70 A.D.

Based on a Full Preterist interpretation of this verse, this promise of being kept strong doesn't apply to believers after 70 A.D.


Doctrine of the Resurrection is Ruined

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:20)

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. (1 Corinthians 15:22-24)

These verses from 1 Corinthians chapter 15 establish the doctrine of the resurrection of all believers. The resurrection will happen immediately before the end, and all believers will take part in it. But in Full Preterism, the end is 70 A.D. so the resurrection is no longer considered to be a physical, material, bodily resurrection, but becomes a spiritual event. And what about believers who die after 70 A.D.? How do they participate in the resurrection? In my opinion, these verses are fatal to the Full Preterist position.


Confuses Purpose of the Second Coming

Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:28)

This passage specifies that Christ will come a second time to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him. In Full Preterism the second coming occurs in 70 A.D. so Christ comes to bring salvation to those believers who are alive at that time. But this confuses the purpose for His second coming. He came the first time to bear the sin of all believers of all time, not just those who were alive in 30 A.D. And He comes the second time to complete the salvation process that He put in place at that time. Thus, the second coming has to occur as the last event on earth. All believers of all time whether dead or living at the time of the second coming are saved from the judgment of God at the great white throne judgment.

If we interpret this verse according to the Full Preterist view we would have to accept that Christ only brought salvation to those believers who were alive or dead in 70 A.D. since they were the only ones waiting for Him. It is pointless for believers since then to wait for Christ to return with His salvation since He already brought it.


Trivializes God's Judgment of Sin

In the book of Romans Paul speaks of the wrath of God. In the Full Preterist position, this wrath is the judgment on Israel, Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. But this is not what Paul had in mind. The passages in question:


The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness. (Romans 1:18)

This wrath would have to be limited to the Israelites in the Full Preterism position. The question we must answer is, "is Paul speaking only to the Israelites?" In order for Full Preterism to be correct, the answer to this must be, "Yes, only to the Israelites."

The following verse could imply that Paul is speaking to the Israelites:

Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:32)

After all, the Israelites are the ones who were given God's law. But Paul is writing to the believers in Rome and he emphasizes that he is writing to Gentiles:

Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. (Romans 1:5)

Also, Paul emphasizes that God has revealed Himself to all men, long before Moses ever gave the law:

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)

So Paul is speaking to all believers, not merely Jews. And he is definitely speaking to Gentile believers in addition to Jewish believers. Therefore, Romans 1:18 contradicts the Full Preterist view.


But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. (Romans 2:5)

In the Full Preterist view, the day of God's wrath is 70 A.D. The disturbing side-effects of this are:

  1. The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. becomes the day in which God judges all unbelievers of all time for their sin.

  2. There is no final great white throne judgment in which God judges sin.

  3. Nonbelievers from 70 A.D. on into the future aren't judged at all since the judgment happened in 70 A.D.

  4. The judgment of Israel, Jerusalem and the temple did not happen in Rome. So how would the Romans be affected by this?

For those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Romans 2:8,9)

Clearly Paul is not referring to the destruction in 70 A.D., but rather, to final judgment which is not limited to Jews only, but is for all unbelievers. God's wrath falls on all who do evil, not merely those who are alive in 70 A.D. This passage contradicts the Full Preterist view.


Redefines the word "Glory"

When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)

In Full Preterism, not only is Christ's coming invisible, but His glory is also invisible. This verse refers to the second coming of Christ which in Full Preterism occurs in 70 A.D. with the destruction of Jerusalem. Christ's glory at the second coming is limited to the carnage by the Roman army — not a very glorious manifestation of the glorified Christ.


Destroys our Hope

To wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. (1 Thessalonians 1:10)

In Full Preterism, this verse only applies to the believers who lived between 30 A.D. and 70 A.D. This verse does not have any application at all for believers after that time, which includes us today. Yet in context, the verse appears to have general application for all believers of all time. But Full Preterism takes away our hope by teaching that there is no future second coming of Christ to rescue us from the judgment for our sins.

In the Full Preterist view this verse refers to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. A side effect of this view is that this verse doesn't apply to us who live after 70 A.D. But this doesn't make sense since there are so many passages in the New Testament in which all believers of all times are clearly saved from God's wrath. (more info)


Internal Contradictions

The wrath of God has come upon them [the Jews] at last. (1 Thessalonians 2:16)

In Full Preterism, the wrath of God occurred in 70 A.D. But this verse, which was written before that time, states that the wrath of God has already come upon the Jews. The correct understanding of this verse is that when Jesus died, He provided salvation for those who would believe. But He also provided judgment upon those who will reject Him, which includes the Jewish leaders who had Him crucified. The Israelites had been rejecting God for centuries, but with the first coming of Christ, their rejection of God is sealed in their rejection of Christ, the Messiah. The actual judgment will take place immediately after Christ's second coming in the future.

In the Full Preterist view this verse refers to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. But the grammar of the verse itself contradicts this interpretation. The verb "has come" is referring to a past event, but 70 A.D. is still in the future. Therefore, the word "wrath" in this verse refers to something that happened before Paul wrote this letter.


For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:9)

In Full Preterism the wrath of God occurred in 70 A.D. Yet many believers were also destroyed in this event. So there is a contradiction. But the word "wrath" refers to God's final judgment at the great white throne judgment.


Ignoring Jesus' Own Words

I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. (Matthew 24:34)

Full Preterists pride themselves on how literal they are in interpreting the Olivet Discourse. But this is an overstatement. The following verses refer to (1) the second coming of Christ, visible to everyone, and (2) a rapture (resurrection) in which all believers are removed from the earth:

At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24:30-31)

There is no historical evidence that such things occurred. No historians wrote anything at all about the mysterious disappearance of millions of Christians. In fact, by 96 A.D., the emperor Domitian was persecuting Christians in the province of Asia. There would not be any Christians to persecute if a rapture occurred in 70 A.D.

The solution to understanding the phrase "this generation" Mathew 24:34 is that in the Olivet Discourse Jesus is talking about (1) the destruction of Jerusalem, and (2) His second coming at the end of the world. He had just finished describing the destruction of Jerusalem in detail (but alluded to His second coming). After verse 34, He begins talking about His second coming in detail. The events that occur in the lifetime of those He was speaking to are the events in 70 A.D. His second coming is yet future.


Bad Side-Effects

For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:26)

If we interpret this verse in the Full Preterist fashion then we would no longer need to practice communion since the verse says until He comes.

To keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Timothy 6:14)

If we interpret this verse in the Full Preterist fashion then we would no longer need to remain pure and spotless as Christians.


Not Consistently Literal

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. (2 Peter 3:10)

As you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. (2 Peter 3:12)

Full Preterists claim to be literal. But they are not consistently literal. The above verses could not be literally applied to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. However, they could be applied to the destruction of the world at the end of the world.

Some might say that the word "elements" refers not to physical matter but to the various implements used in Jewish worship. This seems contrived to me. After all, the Greeks had introduced the idea of the elements of matter centuries before.


Exegesis of Full Preterist Verses


There are a good number of key verses that Full Preterists use to support their view. I examine a few of these in this section.

A few words about my methodology: I am demonstrating (1) that these passages have reasonable interpretations that are opposed to Full Preterism (my view of amillennialism as described in these articles (see menu sidebar to the left) are based on these alternate interpretations), and (2) that the Full Preterist interpretation of these passages result in serious contradictions. Thus, the Full Preterist view is not the only reasonable view as it is claimed to be.

Matthew 16:27,28

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom. (Matthew 16:27,28)

Note that the idea of Christ's parousia is connected with the idea that some who are alive when Jesus spoke the words would still be alive.

There are several events that this passage could be referring to:


There are other valid and reasonable interpretations of this passage besides the Full Preterist view.

Matthew 24:14

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

Full Preterism is based on a strictly literal method of interpretation. But this passage has a serious contradiction if interpreted in this manner. In a strictly literal sense the gospel was "not" preached to "all" the nations by 70 A.D. It was certainly preached to "some" of the nations, particularly those near Palestine and parts of the Roman Empire, but not to all nations. For example, it was not preached to the nations in most of Africa, Asia and the Americas.

In studying the history of missions we find that the 1800's was a time of global evangelism in which "all" nations were evangelized. In a strictly literal hermeneutic, whatever Jesus means by the phrase "the end," it can't occur until modern times.

In the amillennial view I also understand the word "end" as referring to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. just as Full Preterists do. But since I don't adopt the assumption of strict literalness I don't have the problem noted above.

Another problem with the Full Preterist interpretation of this passage is the assumption of a strictly chronological sequence of events with no "gaps" or "asides" in the narrative. But the word "then" is not used in this strict manner. It does not imply that the one event follows with no gap in time, rather, it merely means the one event occurs after the other. In the following passage there would be a serious problem if we interpreted it without a gap between the good deed and the reward. It would mean that every good deed has only an immediate reward and that God does not defer judgment until a future time.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:3,4)


2 Timothy 4:1

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: (2 Timothy 4:1)

I see no evidence in this verse that the parousia occurred in 70 A.D. It is perfectly reasonable to understand this in terms of a yet future second coming of Christ.

Full Preterists seem to assume that the word "living" must refer to those living at the time the book was written or those living in 70 A.D. But it is reasonable to interpret it to refer to those who are living when Christ comes again in the future.


1 Corinthians 15:51

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51)

The assumption of Full Preterists is that the phrase "we will not all sleep" refers to those living at the time the book was written. But it is just as reasonable to interpret it to refer to those who are alive at the yet future second coming of Christ.


Mark 14:62

And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven. (Mark 14:62)

The assumption of Full Preterists is that they would not first die before seeing the parousia. But if we assume that the second coming of Christ is yet future, the passage is still true. Just become someone has died doesn't imply that they will no longer see these events.

There is a problem with the Full Preterist interpretation of this passage. Since the parousia is invisible the high priest doesn't really see it after all. Instead, he sees the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem which are merely the effects of it. Also, they don't see Jesus sitting at the right hand of God the Father at all. In addition, Jerusalem was not completely destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. as is commonly believed. It was finally destroyed in 135 A.D.


Isaiah 19:1

See, the LORD rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. The idols of Egypt tremble before him, and the hearts of the Egyptians melt within them. (Isaiah 19:1)

The assumption is that an image in the Old Testament is always used to refer to the same thing and that the New Testament writers use these images to refer to the same thing. Regarding the word "cloud": If we ignore references to the cloud of Moses and the clouds of nature, we have the following passages: Isaiah 14:31, Isaiah 44:22, Lam 2:1, Lam 3:44, Ezekiel 1:4, Ezekiel 32:7, Ezekiel 38:9, Ezekiel 38:16, Matthew 17:5, and others.

If the cloud in Isaiah 19:1 is the same cloud as in Luke 21:27, Acts 1:9, and Revelation 10:1; this still proves nothing in regards to Full Preterism. The details of Isaiah chapter 19 don't match the view of Full Preterism anyway.


Revelation 20:4-6

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6)

Several objections to amillennialism by Full Preterists:

An objection to the Full Preterist view: Since many Full Preterists believe that the first resurrection occurred in about 30 A.D. and the second resurrection occurred in 70 A.D., there is no literal 1,000 yearperiod in between — it has to be interpreted figuratively. But Full Preterism is grounded on the idea of extreme literalism.

For more see Revelation 20:5 and Revelation 20:6


Dan 12:1-9

At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?" The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, "It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed." I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, "My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?" He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end." (Dan 12:1-9)

The Full Preterist view matches this passage very well. But there are other interpretations that also match very well. My amillennial view is:

Full Preterists will object to the gap in this explanation. It is really more of an aside than a gap. Remember that when the biblical books were written they didn't have modern word processors so it wasn't so easy to describe things in a strictly chronological manner. Nor did they ever claim that their accounts were strictly chronological — it is merely an assumption on our part as interpreters. When a particular idea needed to be developed it would be easier to insert it right then as an aside and to then pick up on the chronological flow again. See Dan 12:1 for more info.


Luke 21:22

For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:22)

There is no reason to assume that the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in 70 A.D. fulfills every written prophecy just because the word all is used. Certainly there were prophecies concerning the coming of Christ and these prophecies are excluded.


Hebrews 8:13

By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. (Hebrews 8:13)

The book of Hebrews was written before the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Although Jesus did away with the Old Covenant of Israel at His crucifixion, it disappeared in 70 A.D. when the temple sacrifices could no longer be performed. There is no reason to assume that the New Covenant began on a certain day and that the Old Covenant ended on that same day — that there was no overlap. Even the Full Preterist view doesn't assume this. Certainly the New Covenant didn't begin in 70 A.D. — it began with Jesus' ministry, His sacrifice on the cross, His resurrection, and the birth of the church on Pentecost. To deny this is to not speak very highly of Jesus and His work.


Eccl 1:4

Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. (Eccl 1:4)

Full Preterists use this verse and other like it (Ps 78:69, Ps 89:36-37, Ps 104:5, Ps 148:3-6, Mic 6:2) to demonstrate that the physical universe and the earth will remain as they are forever. This certainly contradicts the view of modern science which affirms that the sun will one day quit shining when it uses up all its nuclear fuel.

One example is sufficient to demonstrate that the word forever is not intended to be used in this manner. I will give several examples:


Isaiah 65:20

Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. (Isaiah 65:20)

This verse is often used to demonstrate that the New Heavens and New Earth (Isaiah 65:17) refer to the present church age since 70 A.D. But this verse contains within it a contradiction of this very view. It says that infants will never die after a few days and that people never die before they are very old, but both happen.


Revelation 22:2

Down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2)

This verse is used by Full Preterists to demonstrate that the image of the New Heavens and New Earth refers to the church age since healing would only be relevant in this present world. But in this passage Full Preterists assume that every other detail is figurative so why should they assume that this one image of healing is literal?


Revelation 22:15

Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Revelation 22:15)

This verse is used by Full Preterists to demonstrate that the image of the New Heavens and New Earth refers to the church age since there are some who are outside. But the image of being outside could just as well refer to hell.


Hebrews 12:22

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly. (Hebrews 12:22)

This verse is used by Full Preterists to demonstrate that the image of the New Heavens and New Earth refers to the church age since there is the implication that some did not come. But this could just as easily refer to those who are not saved and are therefore in hell.


Ephesians 1:21

Far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:21)

Full Preterists use this verse to prove their view that there is an age future to the age when the book of Ephesians was written which is also not a heavenly age but is very much like that age was. Full Preterists, of course, claim that the "age to come" refers to the time period after 70 A.D. But this interpretation is rather arbitrary since the conditions stated in this text for this "age to come" fit equally well if applied to the eternal state of amillennialism.


Revelation 3:11

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. (Revelation 3:11)

Full Preterists claim that the book of Revelation was written before 70 A.D. and that this verse exhorts believers of that day to persevere until 70 A.D. so that they wouldn't lose their crowns. They claim that it suggests nothing about persevering until death, but until His coming. Certainly this is a valid interpretation. But this verse also equally well supports the notion that Christ is coming soon because we all should expect Him to come at any time. If we don't hold on to what we have we will lose the crown of salvation that He has given us.

Their claim regarding the date of writing is dubious (more info) and their interpretation absolutely depends on their dating to be correct. In fact, Full Preterism collapses if the book of Revelation was written after 70 A.D.

There is a sense in which Jesus did come soon. Based on verse 10:

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. (Revelation 3:10)

Jesus did come soon to keep them from the hour of trial by protecting them in various ways. Those who heeded Jesus' warning in Matthew 24:16 as Jesus instructs them to flee for safety.


Romans 16:20

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. (Romans 16:20)

Full Preterists claim that God crushed Satan in 70 A.D. This implies that Jesus' earthly ministry, His sacrificial death, His resurrection, and the birth of the church on Pentecost were ineffective. This doesn't speak very highly of Jesus and His ministry. A couple of passages that contradict the Full Preterist interpretation of Romans 16:20.

He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." (Luke 10:18)

Notice that Jesus uses the past tense; that Satan had already fallen before Christ's crucifixion.

Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians 7:5)

If Satan was crushed in 70 A.D. then this verse doesn't apply to us today since Satan cannot now tempt us anymore.

Romans 2:5,6

But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God "will give to each person according to what he has done." (Romans 2:5,6)

In the Full Preterist view the phrase "day of God's wrath" refers exclusively to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. If this were true then this passage would no longer have any relevance to believers after that time. It also has the side effect of limiting God's wrath upon unbelievers before 70 A.D. to the events of the Roman destruction.

The phrase "day of God's wrath" refers to a future time of judgment for all people at the second coming of Christ.


Romans 8:21

The creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)

In the Full Preterist view this verse refers to the events of 70 A.D. But there is a serious contradiction in this view. It would mean that the creation is no longer subject to decay. Clearly this is not the case. In the Full Preterist view the world will continue forever just as it is today so there will never be a time in which the world is "recreated" without decay.

This passage refers to a yet future time in which the world will indeed be liberated from its bondage to decay. This will happen at the second coming of Christ.


Romans 11:25,26

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved. (Romans 11:25,26)

In the Full Preterist view this passage refers to the events of 70 A.D. But there is a serious contradiction in this view. Certainly all Israel was not saved. Neither were they destroyed. In addition, the full number of the Gentiles has not yet come in. Therefore, this passage refers to a yet future event.


2 Corinthians 5:2

Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling. (2 Corinthians 5:2)

In the Full Preterist view this passage refers to the resurrection that occurred in 70 A.D. with the parousia. Before 70 A.D. believers would long for the resurrection which occurred in 70 A.D. so they could receive their new body. But after 70 A.D. this passage would make no sense since believers would then have no possibility of receiving such a body until after death. Full Preterism has three possibilities, which all result in problems:

  1. A "rapture" in 70 A.D. of believers. They would disappear from this world and receive a resurrected body in heaven. From that time onward all believers will receive the same kind of resurrected body at death. The problem is that there is no historical evidence of a rapture event of this magnitude.

  2. The resurrection is spiritual only. The believers alive in 70 A.D. received a resurrected body which could not be externally distinguished from their previous body before 70 A.D. The problem with this view is that this implies that all believers will receive this same kind of body upon salvation. In addition, there is no additional resurrection body which believers will receive upon death so they are forever merely spirits in heaven. Another problem is that this view requires that the phrase "caught up in the clouds" in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (below) must be interpreted figuratively.

  3. The resurrection only occurs at death. The problem with this view is that nothing would have happened for believers at 70 A.D except for those who had already died who would, indeed, receive their resurrected bodies at that time. This results in a contradiction with 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (below) in which both the living and the dead receive a resurrected body.
2 Corinthians 5:2 highlights the inconsistencies with the Full Preterist idea that the resurrection of believers occurred in 70 A.D. The following passage makes it clear that all believers are resurrected at the parousia. If this occurred in 70 A.D. then it contradicts 2 Corinthians 5:2.

According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)

Clearly, the only solution to these problems is to accept the view that the parousia is yet future. This has been the view of the church since the Early Church Fathers and appears in the earliest creeds.


Colossians 2:15

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:15)

In the Full Preterist view the kingdom of God didn't begin until 70 A.D. The work that Christ did on the cross was not the significant event but, rather, the benefit of Christ's work was deferred until the parousia in 70 A.D. But in this verse we see that Christ's sacrificial death on the cross was actually the significant event.


Ephesians 1:20,21

Which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:20,21)

This verse directly contradicts the Full Preterist view. It specifies two ages. The current age would be the time between about 30 A.D. and 70 A.D., and the age to come would be the time period after 70 A.D. But notice that the same conditions are present in both of these ages. Yet in the Full Preterist view, Christ did not receive the fullness of power as specified in these verses until the parousia in 70 A.D.

In the amillennial view, the present age is the church age, and the age to come is the New Heavens and New Earth which is the eternal state. Jesus Christ has had all the specified powers since His sacrificial crucifixion.


Ephesians 1:22

God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, (Ephesians 1:22)

This verse directly contradicts the Full Preterist view. It uses the past tense words "placed" and "appointed" to refer to the benefits that Christ won at the cross. Yet in the Full Preterist view some of these things were not given to Him until 70 A.D.


Philippians 1:6

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

In the Full Preterist view the word "day" refers to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. A literal reading of this verse would mean that after 70 A.D. God will no longer carry on this good work to completion. Believers after 70 A.D. can therefore not claim this verse as a promise from God. In effect, God doesn't care about believers since 70 A.D. as much as He did the believers who lived between 30 A.D. and 70 A.D. This, of course, is nonsense.


1 John 3:2

What we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)

In the Full Preterist view this occurs in 70 A.D. But there is a contradiction in this view. This verse states that when Christ appears the believers of the time will be like Him. But after His resurrection, Jesus had extraordinary powers and was able to appear and disappear at will, enter a closed room, and prevent people from recognizing him. Yet the believers of 70 A.D. certainly didn't have these powers either. And believers since then don't have these powers. Contrary to the Full Preterist view, believers were not resurrected in 70 A.D.


References

Russell, J. Stuart (Reprinted in 1990, originally written in 1887). The Parousia: A Study of the New Testament Doctrine of Our Lord's Second Coming. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.