- More on Luke 21:22- When Were All Things Written Fulfilled- #1
- More Desperation from the Partial Preterist Camp- A Response to Jason Bradfield
The acerbic Jason Bradfield has written a “response” to the full preterist appeal to Luke 21:22 where Jesus, predicting the AD 70 fall of Jerusalem said: “These be the days of vengeance in which all things are written must be fulfilled.” Bradfield, who always seems intent on insulting the integrity and most assuredly the spiritual standing of full preterists (calling us “hyper-preterists), had this to say in a recent article:
“It is no secret that this is standard, hyperpreterist fare. So, the question posed to us “partial preterists” is a simple one: if Jerusalem was destroyed in ad70 and by that event, Jesus said that “all things that are written must be fulfilled”; how can we argue that there is prophecy left to be fulfilled post ad70?
Seems fairly plain, right? Well, not so fast.”
Bradfield admits that a simple reading of the text sounds simple and “fairly plain.” But, of course, he knows that to accept that meaning is to falsify the entirety of futurism, so, he casts around to find a way to deny that “fairly plain” reading.
Now, Bradfield is not alone in realizing the power of Luke 21:22. Kenneth Gentry also felt the need to counter Jesus’ words and blunt their force. But, Gentry took a totally different approach from Bradfield. He argued from the Greek of the text and concluded, that “all things written” referred to all OT prophecies, since the Greek tenses demand that Jesus was speaking of all things that had been written before he uttered the words in Luke 21:22. Here is the argument by Gentry:
Note just one deadly observation against their approach: The grammar of the passage limits the declaration. Jesus speaks of “all things which are written” by employing a perfect passive participle: /gegrammena /(”having been written”). This refers to prophecies already written — when he speaks in AD 30. Yet we know that more prophecies arise later in the New Testament revelation.
Once again we see a limitation on Jesus’ statement. Furthermore, technically it does not even refer to any prophecy which Christ speaks. For these are not prophecies that have already been written. That being the case, the final resurrection (for instance) is outside of this declaration (Jn 5:28-29)
Thus, in Luke 21:22 Jesus is referring to all things written in the Old Testament. At this stage of redemptive history those are the only prophecies that had already been written. (end quote, DKP).
In response to Gentry’s article, I posted an article on this site making several observations. Among them were the two arguments given here:
Jesus said all things written would be fulfilled in AD 70.
The all things written refers to all the OT prophecies.
Therefore, all OT prophecies would be fulfilled by the time of AD 70.
I followed with this:
All OT prophecies would be fulfilled by AD 70– Kenneth Gentry.
But, the OT predicted the coming of the Lord, the judgment.
Therefore all OT prophecies of the coming of the Lord, the judgment and the resurrection were fulfilled by AD 70.
To my knowledge, Gentry has never responded to my article.
It is interesting, and perhaps revealing, that Bradfield ignores Gentry’s appeal to the Greek of the text in his article. We know for certain that he had read Gentry’s article and my response. It is certainly plausible to speculate that he was seeking to find an answer to the truth of Luke 21:22 without encountering the fatal mine field that Gentry exposed himself to.
So, how does Jason Bradfield answer the conundrum of Luke 21:22. Here are his initial comments:
<<First, just from a literary and logical standpoint, the word “all” comes into question. “Does the word ‘all’ always mean ‘all’?” Well, yes. However, we have to ask the question: “all” of WHAT?
The first entry for the word “all” in my trusty 1828 Webster’s Dictionary is as follows: “Every one, or the whole number of particulars.”
The “whole number of particulars”…think about that for a second. What “particulars”? Well, the word “all”, in and of itself, doesn’t tell us what “particulars” are in mind. The context determines this.>>
Now, it almost seems as if Mr. Bradfield thinks he is offering something that preterists have not considered! In Mr. Bradfield’s opinion, ‘hyper-preterists” are some of the most ignorant people on the face of the earth, and he expresses that very commonly– and caustically. His most common term for me in the FaceBook discussions lately has been “ignoramus.” But, to continue.
Does Bradfield actually imagine that preterists are not aware of how “all” can be – and often is – delimited by context, and by the “particulars” of those contexts? He offers us this:
<<There are two immediate reasons why the hyperpreterist interpretation of defining the “particulars” of Lk 21.22 as referring to every single prophecy fails:
1. The immediate context of Lk 21.22 is clearly speaking of judgment on Israel. Therefore, the “particulars” in question are “all” of that which attends the judgment of Israel…nothing more. In other words, “all things that are written” about Israel’s judgment is what will be “fulfilled.”
2. The Scriptures clearly speak to the time following the destruction of Jerusalem, ie. the age to come. Even hyperpreterists, with the exception of two or three hyper-hyperpreterists, admit this. And to this, we would point out that these hyper-hypers are actually being consistent to the hyperpreterist interpretation of Lk 21.22 as argued by men like Don Preston…for this simple reason: if ALL Biblical prophecy (unqualified) was fulfilled by ad70, then the Scriptures can have no prophetic relevance for the world whatsoever, beyond ad70. Hyperpreterism leaves us in complete darkness.>>
To respond to #2 first of all, it is a mere claim with no substance. Mr. Bradfield is guilty of making what I call an “argumentum ad desperatum” (a non-Latin, Latin term that I coined, meaning an argument from desperation!). Scripture is full of descriptions of “life after the end”, in passages such as Isaiah 2 / 51-66 / Romans 13:12f / Galatians 5 / Revelation 21-22 to name just a tiny few.
It could well be said that those eschatological passages predicting the kingdom and “the end” are to be understood as life in the kingdom after the end. Now, does Bradfield believe that those prophecies will have no prophetic relevance for the world whatsoever beyond the “end of time”? To be sure, in Mr. Bradfield’s paradigm they will no longer be “prophetic” since they will be fulfilled, but that does not mean that they are irrelevant – does it? When John the Immerser said “the kingdom of heaven has drawn near” does that mean that with the first century fulfillment of his words, that there is no relevance of the kingdom for us today?? The same is true in the preterist view. Those prophecies of the end are no longer prophetic, since they are fulfilled, but, they are relevant in describing “how should we then live” in the everlasting kingdom! Mr. Bradfield’s “argument” demonstrates an incredible lack of analytical thinking.
But, look at his point #1. His argument is that what Jesus meant was: “all things that are written” about Israel’s judgment is what will be “fulfilled.” Well, as with his argument #2, it surely appears that Mr. Bradfield has not given a lot of careful, logical, analytical thought to this argument. Just like Gentry’s article, it backfires on him completely, and fatally. Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem. We begin with an examination of just some of the OT prophecies of that event
LOOKING AT ALL THINGS WRITTEN ABOUT THE JUDGMENT OF JERUSALEM FROM THE OT
Now, look again at Bradfield’s argument: he says that “all things written” refers to all of the “particulars” of the prophecies concerning the fall of Jerusalem, nothing else. So, that can be expressed like this:
All things written would be fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.
But, the “all things written” refers only to all prophecies concerning the fall of Jerusalem- Bradfield.
Therefore, all things written concerning the fall of Jerusalem would be (were) fulfilled in AD 70.
Okay, let’s look at this from the perspective of the OT prophecies of the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. For brevity, I will list only a few of those OT prophecies; the list is actually quite long.
Isaiah 2-4 – “In the last days,” the Messianic Temple would be established (2:2f). The Day of the Lord would come, when men would run to the hills and hide in the caves, from the presence of the Lord and the brightness of His glory, when He would rise “to shake the earth mightily” (2:9-22). (Paul quotes verbatim from Isaiah 2:10f; 19f in his prediction of the Day of the Lord in 2 Thessalonians 1). This can hardly be an earth burning, time ending event, that takes place in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, since men would have time to flee from it!
In chapter 3 that Day is described as a time of judgment on Jerusalem and Judah, a time of famine and warfare, when the men of Israel would fall by the edge of the sword (echoed by Jesus in Luke 21:24!). It is critical to follow all of the “in that day” references to see that Isaiah 2-4 is one united prophecy of the last days, consummating in the Day of the Lord.
In chapter 4, it would be the time (in that day) of the glorious revelation of the Branch of the Lord. It would be when the blood guilt of Jerusalem would be avenged (which Jesus emphatically posited for AD 70- Matthew 23). And, it would be the time when the Tabernacle of God would be with man (4:6f).
So, we have a united prophecy concerning the last days. This prophecy is specifically applied by Jesus to AD 70– Luke 23:28f. It is a prophecy of the establishment of the Messianic Temple, and thus, the kingdom, of evangelism, Judgment, Salvation. It is also a prediction of the judgment and destruction of Jerusalem!
So, we have an OT prophecy of, to reiterate, the Messianic Temple, the kingdom, of evangelism, Judgment, Salvation, the vindication of the martyrs, and by Bradfield’s own “argument” this prophecy– ALL OF IT – had to be fulfilled no later than AD 70.
O Lord, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, For You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For You have made a city a ruin, A fortified city a ruin, A palace of foreigners to be a city no more; It will never be rebuilt. Therefore the strong people will glorify You; The city of the terrible nations will fear You. For You have been a strength to the poor, A strength to the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, A shade from the heat; For the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. You will reduce the noise of aliens, As heat in a dry place; As heat in the shadow of a cloud, The song of the terrible ones will be diminished. And in this mountain The Lord of hosts will make for all people A feast of choice pieces, A feast of wines on the lees, Of fat things full of marrow, Of well-refined wines on the lees. And He will destroy on this mountain The surface of the covering cast over all people, And the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken. And it will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”
Now, to fully grasp the significance and power of this prophecy one must go back into chapter 24, which foretold the judgment of Israel for violating Torah (24:4-5). That judgment would be on “the city of confusion,” the city that sat in the midst of “the land” and was occupied by “the people” (12ff). That judgment would be when the “heaven and earth” would be shaken and destroyed (19f– just as in Isaiah 2:19f). As a result of that judgment, YHVH would rule gloriously in Zion.
Chapter 25 picks up on that exultation of victory, by recounting the destruction of that city of confusion– which is none other than Jerusalem, and how the Temple would be turned into a Temple of foreigners.
Notice that 25:9 says it would be “in that day” the day of the Messianic Banquet, the day of the resurrection– and the day of the destruction of the city of confusion and the temple – that Israel’s salvation would be realized! Of course, this is nothing other than the salvation of Israel foretold in Romans 11:26-27, to occur at the coming of the Lord.
So, just like Isaiah 2-4, we have a prophecy of the Day of the Messianic Kingdom, the Messianic Banquet, the resurrection and Israel’s salvation, and it is all posited firmly at the time when the city of confusion and the temple were destroyed! Since Bradfield now admits that all prophecies of the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem were in fact fulfilled, then of necessity, that means that all prophecies of the Messianic Kingdom, the Messianic Banquet, the resurrection and Israel’s salvation were fulfilled no later than AD 70!
Stay tuned as we will continue to share more OT prophecies of the AD 70 judgment of Jerusalem and the temple and expose the utter fallacy of Gentry, Frost, Bradfield and all others who claim (admit) that all things written concerning the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem were indeed fulfilled in AD 70. Their argument reveals their lack of cogent, logical thought and destroys their futurism.
Be sure to get a copy of my book, Seal Up Vision and Prophecy, for an in-depth study of the prophecy of Daniel 9:24f which foretold the time– AD 70- when all prophecy would be fulfilled.