I’m currently reading this brand new (and highly anticipated ‘landmark’ preterist commentary on Revelation) by Kenneth Gentry, it’s a massive work indeed and will undoubtedly become the gold standard amongst preterist commentaries. I obviously strongly disagree with preterism (in both of its forms: partial-preterism as represented by Gentry, and also full-preterism which is full heresy and no longer Christian), but in light of my sermon series on Revelation, I want to know the best arguments presented by the opposing side.

Anyway, I wanted to share a few examples from Gentry’s new commentary, which I believe are interesting examples of how preterist interpretation looks like in practice in some of the details of Revelation. First example is regarding Gentry’s view about the hailstones in Revelation 16:21 (p. 1252-1253 in commentary, see images below) and how he sees it fulfilled in the Roman catapulting of Jerusalem around 70AD. Notice how he makes a comment about how the Roman stones were even the same colour as hail (white)! Yet, when you actually read Josephus’ account of the catapulting of Jerusalem, you will find out that the Romans actually painted the stones black eventually, and only after making them black did these catapults begin to inflict real damage. Yet, the preterists like to point out to the effect “see, even the colour matches!” as confirmation to their view of 70AD fulfillment. Preteristic interpretation of prophecy is a lame watered-down copycat version of God’s true acts of judgment in Scripture. Preterists rightly note that these judgements in Revelation remind us of God’s great acts of judgment in the plagues of Exodus (which obviously were real supernatural acts of judgment). Yet, now when it comes to the final book in Scripture that speaks to us about the greatness of the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His judgments on the world (in greater degree than ever before!), then the preterist would have us believe that these great prophecies are simply hyperbolic language regarding events of 70AD. What a lame ending to an epic story that would be. See also how he speaks of Revelation 16:18 about the earthquake that is greater than ever has been since man came upon the earth (!) and since Gentry needs to force its fulfilment to 70AD, he simply explains it away as “dramatic hyperbole”. So, the true God who truly destroyed the whole world in the global flood, destroyed Sodom, plagued Egypt, now ends His story with a lame watered-down “dramatic hyperbole” which doesn’t fit at all with the greatness of His actual judgments in Genesis or Exodus.

I have read the beginning of God’s book, and I know enough about the style of my God and His judgments, in order not to be persuaded by this kind of lame interpretation of prophecy as presented by preterism. Preterist interpretation of prophecy reminds me of how false prophets claim that their prophecies were indeed fulfilled, by making the applications so general and vague and then claiming this is what the prophecy did indeed mean. Jehovah’s Witnesses are one example of this kind of false prophets who later seek to “spiritualize” the fulfilment of their false prophecies. Many modern day Charismatic “prophets” engage in similar loose and vague interpretation of their false prophecies.

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