One of the key beliefs that preterism holds (both partial and full) regarding the book of Revelation, is that Revelation 1:7 speaks specifically about the events of 70AD. Gentry writes “In its contextual setting, 1:7 points to the destruction of Jerusalem and her temple in AD 70. John presents Jesus coming in judgment against the tribes of Israel who mourned for the loss of their ‘holy city’”(𝐾𝑒𝑛𝑛𝑒𝑡ℎ 𝐺𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑟𝑦, 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐷𝑖𝑣𝑜𝑟𝑐𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝐼𝑠𝑟𝑎𝑒𝑙: 𝐴 𝑅𝑒𝑑𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒𝐻𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝐼𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑅𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑉𝑜𝑙 1, 𝑝. 298).

I want to point out a few issues relating to Gentry’s commentary, and how this novel preterist understanding of Revelation 1:7 connects to church history.

Notice (see picture below from Gentry’s commentary) how after speaking of this preterist understanding of Revelation 1:7, Gentry follows with a paragraph saying “This judgment, being a prophetically-determined, redemptive-historical event, had enormous implications. First…Second…Third…Fourth…Fifth…” And then Gentry follows by saying “Early post-Apostolic Christians saw AD 70 in these terms, including Justin (Dial. 1:35), Origen…, Tertullian (Adv.Jud. 8:18…”

So, when the reader reads Gentry’s commentary, how is he supposed to understand what Gentry says regarding these early post-apostolic Christians? Well, it certainly seems that the “in these terms” might suggest that they understood Revelation 1:7 as a preteristic “judgment-coming” event in 70AD, which is what Gentry has been here talking about, right? Well… when we actually read the early church fathers, we find out that they would have NOTHING to do with “these terms” of preterist understanding!

When we actually read the first example in Gentry’s list (Justin), not only do we not find even a HINT of preteristic understanding about some supposed 70AD judgment-coming in Revelation 1:7, but we find the very OPPOSITE in Justin Martyr’s writing to Trypho. Justin is a particularly significant example, since his Dialogue with Trypho (to which Gentry refers) is the famous discussion between Justin (a Christian) and Trypho (a Jew) debating issues relating to the Christian faith. The discussion between Trypho and Justin also likely took place in Ephesus, the location of one of the 7 churches that originally received the book of Revelation. If EVER there was a great opportunity for the early church fathers to emphasise the significance of the destruction of Jerusalem as a fulfilment of the book of Revelation, this would be it. Yet, what does Justin Martyr say in reference to Revelation 1:7 (and Zachariah 12:10) in particular as he speaks with Trypho the Jew? Well, this is what he said: “And you remember from other words also spoken by David, and which I have mentioned before, how it is declared that He would come forth from the highest heavens, and again return to the same places, in order that you may recognise Him as God coming forth from above, and man living among men; and [how it is declared] that He will again appear, and they who pierced Him shall see Him, and shall bewail Him.” (𝐽𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑛 𝑀𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑦𝑟, 𝐷𝑖𝑎𝑙𝑜𝑔𝑢𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑇𝑟𝑦𝑝ℎ𝑜, 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑡𝑒𝑟 64) Notice how Justin specifically uses the language of Revelation 1:7 to remind Trypho of Jesus’ future second coming, about which he also speaks in the chapter originally referred to by Gentry “Wherefore we pray for you and for all other men who hate us; in order that you, having repented along with us, may not blaspheme Him who, by His works, by the mighty deeds even now wrought through His name, by the words He taught, by the prophecies announced concerning Him, is the blameless, and in all things irreproachable, Christ Jesus; but, believing on Him, may be saved in His second glorious advent, and may not be condemned to fire by Him.” (𝐽𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑛 𝑀𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑦𝑟, 𝐷𝑖𝑎𝑙𝑜𝑔𝑢𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑇𝑟𝑦𝑝ℎ𝑜, 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑡𝑒𝑟 35)

The early church knows not of EVEN ONE SINGLE example of anyone believing that Revelation 1:7 happened in 70 AD. In fact, this is not true of only the early church, but there is not a single evidence of this kind of preterist interpretation from the first 1500 years of church history! Which is admitted even by partial-preterist Francis Gumerlock in his book focusing on finding preterism in church history, Gumerlock says “I did not find any commentaries of the early church that interpreted the coming of Christ in those passages [Rev 1:7; 2:5, 16; 3:3, 11; 22:7, 20] as a ‘judgment coming’ of Christ in 70 A.D.”(𝐹𝑟𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑖𝑠 𝑋. 𝐺𝑢𝑚𝑒𝑟𝑙𝑜𝑐𝑘, 𝑅𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐹𝑖𝑟𝑠𝑡 𝐶𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑦: 𝑃𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑡 𝐼𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐴𝑝𝑜𝑐𝑎𝑙𝑦𝑝𝑠𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝐸𝑎𝑟𝑙𝑦 𝐶ℎ𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑦 (𝐴𝑚𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑉𝑖𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛, 2012), 𝑝. 18)

A preterist view regarding the coming of Christ (Rev 1:7, Matt. 24:30 etc.) is a novel unbiblical perversion that should be rejected.