You are hereJude, the First Hyper-Preterist Heretic?

Jude, the First Hyper-Preterist Heretic?

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By MiddleKnowledge - Posted on 31 January 2009

by Timothy P. Martin
Last Sunday I finished a brief (for me) sermon series on the book of Jude at Covenant Community Church. I learned a lot from this letter over five sermons. Jude is one of those little books of the Bible that is terribly neglected by modern Christians. It's not hard to understand why. Jude does not make much sense unless you are a preterist! The commentaries I investigated during the last few weeks were really pathetic. Futurists (of all stripes) try to make Jude some generic, "universal" admonishment for Christians at all times and all places in light of the coming "universal" doom. Of course, I do believe there is a great deal of application we can draw from Jude when circumstances dictate. But these commentaries approach Jude in complete isolation from the first century context and detail. They approach Jude as if it is sort of like the book of Proverbs. There is only one problem.Last Sunday I finished a brief (for me) sermon series on the book of Jude at Covenant Community Church. I learned a lot from this letter over five sermons. Jude is one of those little books of the Bible that is terribly neglected by modern Christians. It's not hard to understand why. Jude does not make much sense unless you are a preterist! The commentaries I investigated during the last few weeks were really pathetic. Futurists (of all stripes) try to make Jude some generic, "universal" admonishment for Christians at all times and all places in light of the coming "universal" doom. Of course, I do believe there is a great deal of application we can draw from Jude when circumstances dictate. But these commentaries approach Jude in complete isolation from the first century context and detail. They approach Jude as if it is sort of like the book of Proverbs. There is only one problem.Jude is not like the book of Proverbs.

Jude is filled with incredibly rich detail when you read it the right way, in the full light of covenant transition and the predicted apostasy in the last days of the old covenant creation. I was actually shocked at the subtle allusions and powerful Hebraic style with which the book communicates. The stories Jude referenced each took on new light when I began to understand how Jude was using them in his own time and context. You will have to listen to a sermon or two to "get" what I'm talking about.

Now here is where it gets interesting. About the time I was finishing up my sermons in Jude, I read an article posted by Todd Dennis titled “AD70 Storyline Fundamentally Different than Historical Christianity’s.” This is the same Todd Dennis that runs PreteristArchive.com (with all that great material on preterism!). Anyway, Todd's article made the argument that "HyPs" (full-preterists) diminish the cross by speaking so much about, and holding to the significance of, the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. In Todd's words from the article:

"This 'AD70 storyline' is foreign to the Bible, and to Christianity as a whole throughout all of its centuries and denominations."

"To diminish the cross event is not just a small matter of end times disagreement; Rather, it is an attack on the very foundations of Christianity."

"There are many essential differences between the narrative storyline of Hyper Preterism and that of Christianity. These are just two of the profoundly divergent story lines between the standard held by hyper preterism (AD70) and that held by the entire scope of historical Christianity (the CROSS)."

As I was thinking about this accusation against full-preterism and diving deep into the Word of God in Jude, something astounded me. What would happen if we apply this very same criticism to Jude?

So I went back and read Jude a few more times. Guess what?

Jude makes no mention of the cross of Jesus Christ.

Nothing in his entire letter brings it up. He doesn't even mention the blood of Christ. Get this now. The only writing we have from Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, says nothing explicitly about the blood or cross of Christ. But do you know what Jude spends his time talking about? Jude spends almost all of his time dealing with the great controversy with the Judaizers and what was about to happen to them. Jude was stuck on the coming judgment!

That raises an interesting question. Was Jude the first hyper-preterist heretic? If focus on A.D. 70 (rather than the cross) is the difference "between the narrative storyline of Hyper Preterism and that of Christianity" then don't we have wee bit of a problem here? If you apply that standard to Jude, then Jude is a heretic! Is Todd Dennis willing to say that Jude was in error to speak about the "last days" controversy and the coming destruction to his audience and say nothing specific about the blood and cross of Christ?

Consider that the next time someone makes this particular criticism against preterism. Can Todd Dennis' standard be applied to the guys who wrote the New Testament? The fact is that preterists are the only ones who recognize the role the cross of Jesus plays within the full work of redemption Christ has now accomplished for us by his entire high priestly work.

Preterism magnifies the greatness of the atonement accomplished by Jesus Christ, as typified in the full detail of the Old Testament shadowy sacrificial system. After all, the High Priest did more than just shed the blood of the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement. He had to go into the Holy of Holies (ascend) and apply the blood as directed in the Law, and then come back out (return) to show the people that his annual work on behalf of the people was complete. The preterist view is notably Hebraic in its view of Christ’s full work of redemption. Christ fulfilled all of the detail in the Law by A.D. 70.

Preterists are the ones talking about the very things the writers of the New Testament were concerned about. What should that tell you about some confused individual's beliefs that "This 'AD70 storyline' is foreign to the Bible, and to Christianity as a whole throughout all of its centuries and denominations"?

I know.

I will go read the book of James, written by another half-brother of Jesus, to see if there is anything to this hyper-preterist "heresy." I'm sure James will have nothing of this "AD 70 storyline" and spend all of his time talking about nothing but his own "love for the old rugged cross"...

[30 minutes later]

Maybe they were all heretics. Tim Martin
www.BeyondCreationScience.com

tom-g's picture

Tim,

I have never had any contact with Todd Dennis and have had no desire to study anything he has said. However, if his charge of heresy is leveled at you based upon what you have written here:

"After all, the High Priest did more than just shed the blood of the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement. He had to go into the Holy of Holies (ascend) and apply the blood as directed in the Law, and then come back out (return) to show the people that his annual work on behalf of the people was complete. The preterist view is notably Hebraic in its view of Christ’s full work of redemption. Christ fulfilled all of the detail in the Law by A.D. 70."

I would have to agree that I can think of no greater heresy than that.

Plus, I can't believe that any person redeemed by the blood shed on the cross could possibly make such a negative degrading remark about "love for the old rugged cross." just to prove a personal doctrine.

Tom

MiddleKnowledge's picture

To whom it may concern:

My comment at the end of this article regarding "the old rugged cross" was related to Todd Dennis' closing statement in his article:

"Rather, I pray that all such Bereans will be given the wisdom to understand how far from the received gospel the HyP view truly is. Perhaps as this concept being exposed to them, love for the old rugged cross will inspire a sincerely critical examination of the "salvation in AD70" view."

It should also be noted that the term "the old rugged cross" does not appear in Scripture. It is the title of a modern hymn penned by George Bennard in 1913. For those who will actually examine the hymn, which Todd alluded to first in his article, you will see that the hymn features prominent lyrics based in the doctrines of futurism.

Furthermore, there are no commands in Scripture to have "love for that old rugged cross." However, the Roman Catholic Church does have a long history in venerating "holy" objects as "aids to worship."

I categorically state that the physical object of the cross, wood and fiber, is not worthy of the love and adoration of Christians. Their deepest love should always be reserved for the living person who saved them and the God who is their righteousness.

Hope that clears that up,

Tim Martin
www.BeyondCreationScience.com

tom-g's picture

No, Tim,

It does not clear it up. And I refer you to the centrality of the "Cross" as that which is to be preached by Christians, when the spirit caused us to know that fact by teaching us that the apostle Paul determined to know nothing but: "Jesus Christ and him crucified." when he went to Corinth.

I am sorry that the Spirit's teaching through the apostle Paul is not to your liking or your gospel. Perhaps you would do well to read again and practice and teach what the Spirit teaches us in 1 Cr 1:17-3:23.

1:17 "For Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the gospel; not with wisdom of words, lest THE CROSS of Christ be made of none effect."

1:23 "But we preach CHRIST CRUCIFIED, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness."

2:2 "for I determined NOT TO KNOW ANYTHING AMONG YOU SAVE JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED."

2:8 "Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known, they would not have CRUCIFIED the Lord of glory."

I have said and continue to affirm that I can think of no greater heresy than to say that the blood of God's only begotten Son that he shed on the cross was not an acceptable blood sacrifice for the sins of the world. That for 40 years, from the crucifixion to the parousia, God refused to accept as a blood sacrifice for the remission of sin the blood of Christ, his only begotten Son, as you seem to be saying in your posting.

Tom

davo's picture

tom-g: …I can think of no greater heresy than to say that the blood of God's only begotten Son that he shed on the cross was not an acceptable blood sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Yes indeed Tom I whole-heartedly agree… it is total heresy that denies Christ's once for all sacrifice as not being efficacious on behalf of the sins of the world, and thus consequently believing man's puny will can somehow subvert God's totally irresistible grace.

davo

mazuur's picture

Tom,

"I have said and continue to affirm that I can think of no greater heresy than to say that the blood of God's only begotten Son that he shed on the cross was not an acceptable blood sacrifice for the sins of the world. That for 40 years, from the crucifixion to the parousia, God refused to accept as a blood sacrifice for the remission of sin the blood of Christ, his only begotten Son, as you seem to be saying in your posting."

what are you smoking? Tim never said anything even remotely close to such a thing!

-Rich

tom-g's picture

Rich,

I quoted Tim's paragraph from his article, and I will re-quote it so you will be able to confirm that this is what Tim wrote:

"After all, the High Priest did more than just shed the blood of the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement. He had to go into the Holy of Holies (ascend) and apply the blood as directed in the Law, and then come back out (return) to show the people that his annual work on behalf of the people was complete. The preterist view is notably Hebraic in its view of Christ’s full work of redemption. Christ fulfilled all of the detail in the Law by A.D. 70."

Tim is here applying the work of the high priest as he went into the HoH once a year to offer sacrifice on behalf of the sins of the nation. If he did not come back out this was the sign that the blood sacrifice was not accepted by God. It was the high priest appearing out of the HoH that was the sign that the sacrifice was accepted by God.

Tim is saying that the sign that the blood sacrifice of our Lord was accepted by god was not until Christ returned at his parousia, just as the sign that the blood sacrifice offered by the high priest was accepted by God was not until the high priest came back out of the HoH.

Christ offered his blood at the cross in 30AD, he returned in his parousia in 70AD. If the comparison that Tim made between Christ and the high priest is followed then the crucifixion was when Christ entered the HoH to offer his blood for the sacrifice. And it is the return of Christ at his parousia in 70AD that is the equivalent of the high priest coming back out of the HoH to show himself to the people as the sign that the sacrifice was accepted by God.

The blood sacrifice was not accepted by God until the high priest came back out of the HoH Therefore our Lord's sacrifice was not accepted by God until Christ came back out of the HoH.

You tell me Rich, when does Tim say that Christ returned out of the HoH? How much time elapsed from Christ's sacrifice in 30AD until he came back out of the HoH in 70AD.

You tell me Rich was it automatic that God accepted the high priest sacrifice whether he came back out of the HoH or not? If the high priest never came back out would that still be the sign that his sacrifice was accepted, or was it necessary for him to come back out? How were the people to know that our Lord's sacrifice was accepted by God if he never came back out of the HoH? Tim is saying that for 40 years the people never had the only sign that proved his blood shed on the cross was accepted by God.

The error of a false doctrine has unintended consequences.

Tom

Ed's picture

Tom,
as usual you have misrepresented others so that you can be right. You can call what I am doing ad hominem all day long, but the fact remains that you do NOTHING but ad hominem against those you oppose - and it all centers, not on any truth of the matter, but your own dislike for Tim and Jeff's Covenant Creation model.

I've known Tim Martin for several years now, and Jeff Vaughn for over a decade. No one with faculties functioning could ever accuse Jeff Vaughn of believing in evolution (in fact, he was the one who taught me the scientific evidence of why evolution CANNOT be true); nor accuse Tim Martin in not believing in the importance and efficacy of the Blood of Christ as shed on Calvary's cross. You are not only wrong, but you are a slanderer.

You have taken Tim's responses to your insipid idolatry of a wooden object, and twisted it (you perhaps were very good at this very thing in the past) to now create this strawman to beat up. The problem is, nothing you say about Tim's alleged beliefs have any veracity whatsoever. You are a liar. You seem to be unable to tell the truth. Even when confronted with the truth, you continue to deny it (as with your twisting of scripture in regards to Bill-Leo's assertion of Christ's "brethren" not believing in him).

I am saddened by the fact that you are nothing but a troll here - hiding and lurking until such a time as you can find anything with which to libel another. I cannot tell Virgil what to do, but if this were my site, I would ban you from it in a heartbeat. Liars and libelers shouldn't be welcome.

While I have my disagreements with Tim, NO ONE can accuse him of not believing in the ACCEPTABLE sacrifice of Christ. So quit lying and go away sir (and I use that term loosely).

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Barry's picture

Ed,
I very much agree that Tim was right down the line on this one.

I wish that there was something that "I" or "we" could do to help Tom "somehow" realize that he as a problem and that realizing that could be a possible first step toward some healing perhaps.

When one seems very much incapable of and apparently unwilling to communicate on a reasonable level with others it really makes it very difficult to "reach" them with reason.

Personally speaking I have no idea how to proceed other than just point out the obvious which Rich does quite well IMO.

Oh well!
Barry

we are all in this together

mazuur's picture

Tom,

"I would have to agree that I can think of no greater heresy than that."

What exactly is the heresy in Tim words? I'm not getting it.

-Rich

-Rich

leo724's picture

Thanks for your work on Jude.

I have some thoughts on James 1 and 2 from a covenant change perspective. They can be found here:

http://billsbloggins.blogspot.com/2005_09_25_billsbloggins_archive.html

and

http://billsbloggins.blogspot.com/2005_11_18_billsbloggins_archive.html

Corrective comments are always welcome!

Bill

tom-g's picture

Bill,

I only got as far as the first part of your 9-25-05 blog where you said: "In the gospels, James is described as being skeptical toward Jesus. He didn't come to believe in Jesus as Messiah until after he had witnessed the risen Christ."

Where would you ever get such an idea that the gospels said this about James?

Tom

leo724's picture

Thanks Tom,

You're right. I might be stretching a bit. I got it from here.

John 7:1-5

After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. Therefore His brothers said to Him, "Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world." For not even His brothers were believing in Him.

What do you think?

tom-g's picture

leo724,

It is my understanding that the definition for the term brethren (plural) in this passage is continuing to be the same from 6:60 until 7:13 and that it is his disciples which includes the twelve. It is also my understanding that this same defined term is the antecedent of the second and third person pronouns used in these verses.
I also understand that this same definition applies throughout the whole NT for the term brethren whenever our Lord is the one using the word. I am also not aware of any NT text in which our Lord ever acknowledged or used the terms mother (Mary), father (Joseph), brothers (James and Joses) or sisters (?) to apply to his biological flesh and blood family.

As to what I think? I would flatly reject as false doctrine any interpretation of any passage of scripture that directly or indirectly would imply that either Mary or Joseph or any of their children would not have known and believed that from his conception Jesus was the Christ the only begotten Son of God.

Tom

mazuur's picture

Tom,

John 6:66-71 (NKJV)
"66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” 71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve."

John 7:1-5 (NKJV)
"1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him. 2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him.
6 Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” 9 When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee."

Now, verse 69 in chapter 6 states the twelve did believe in Him. Then verse 5 in chapter 7 states they did not??? Obviously the subject in chapter 7 is not the twelve. I would say, just as most commentaries, this is his brothers (James) who did not believe in him until some time later (post resurrection?).

Now, show me Scripture that states His brothers did believe in Him.

-Rich

-Rich

tom-g's picture

Rich,

Please define for me the antecedent of the pronouns "them" and "your" in 7:6
And of "you" in 7:7
And "ye" in 7:8
And "them" in 7:9
And of "brethren" in 7:10

Please demonstrate how the term "brethren" in 7:3 is not defined as the same persons in 7:5, and is not the antecedent of the pronouns; You; YE; YOUR; and THEM in 7:3-10. Also please demonstrate that the terms used by the Lord: "My Brethren and MY Mother is anywhere defined in contradiction to our Lord's own definition of who his brethren and mother are in Luke 8:19-21.

Also please demonstrate where in the scripture our Lord ever used the term "brethren" with the exclusive definition of the flesh and blood sons of Joseph and Mary.

Also please demonstrate from the scripture where the flesh and blood sons of Joseph and Mary are ever referenced in John 1:1-7:5 and specifically as being included as disciples in 6:60-7:5.

Also please demonstrate where in the scriptures up to the time of 7:5 that the twelve were not included in the group defined as his disciples. Which included 120 persons from the beginning to the end of our Lord's earthly ministry, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension into his glory. All of whom our Lord defined as his brethren.

Tom

Barry's picture

Jhn 1:39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
Jhn 1:40 One of the two which heard John [speak], and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's BROTHER.
Jhn 1:41 He first findeth his own BROTHER Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

Jhn 2:12 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his MOTHER, AND his BRETHREN, AND his DISIPLES: and they continued there not many days.

Jhn 7:3 His BRETHREN therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, THAT THY DISCIPLES ALSO may see the works that thou doest.
Jhn 7:4 For [there is] no man [that] doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.
Jhn 7:5 For neither did his BRETHREN believe in him.

Jesus did not say "my brethren", rather it is John who "wrote it" as he did concerning Andrew, Peter's brother.
"Is John not allowed to write that Jesus had brothers?" would then be the logical question.

Barry

we are all in this together

Kyle Peterson's picture

Rich,

I'm glad you and others take the time to look these things up. Thanks.

flannery0's picture

Rich, I appreciate you calling attention to the context, which was being misrepresented.

I would also ask a follow-up question to yours:

Where in Scripture would we get the idea that a biological relationship is an indicator of faith? I can think of a lot of places that say the opposite.

Tami

Barry's picture

Exactly.
The context is clear enough.

Also:
Quote.
I would flatly reject as false doctrine any interpretation of any passage of scripture that directly or indirectly would imply that either Mary or Joseph or any of their children would not have known and believed that from his conception Jesus was the Christ the only begotten Son of God.
End quote.

Let's make everything a matter of DOCTRINE!

Barry

we are all in this together

mazuur's picture

Tim,

Good words my friend. These types of arguments presented by Todd are empty. These types of arguments remind me of the same baseless arguments presented by KJV only folk. To me they just seem silly, which come from not having any real Scriptural arguments.

I'm going to have to go back and reread Jude again myself.

-Rich

P.S. BTW, your article "An Introduction to Covenant Eschatology" in Fulfilled Magazine was excellent!

-Rich

Virgil's picture

Tim this is a very good observation; but you are too generous to give Todd the benefit of accepting his premise. I am not willing to concede his false dualism. The faith is not about one or the other (cross or ad 70). Is a complete narrative with a unique storyline..it is certainly NOT what Todd claims it is.

By the way I offered Todd the opportunty to create a neutral blog where him and I can interact and dialogue on these issues in a civilized manner but I have not yet heard from him.

PreteristAD70's picture

A neutral blog? Where on earth did you get that idea? ;-)

Virgil's picture

I don't remember! The voices in my head?? :)

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Virgil,

I agree.

But to unravel his premise would take a few more pages. I wanted to just present the issue in terms of the way he presented it to show the absurdity of his own argument on his own terms.

It is a complete narrative. That is what I hinted with the comments regarding the High Priestly work and the "hebraic" nature of preterism.

I can't remember the last time when Todd interacted with criticism of his "pret-idealist" views.

Tim Martin
www.BeyondCreationScience.com

Virgil's picture

I can't remember the last time when Todd interacted with criticism of his "pret-idealist" views.

Has he ever?

If I actually use his own description of what "preterist idealism" is, I am in the club already.

Ed's picture

Unfortunately, those who fuss so much about the cross are the ones who don't understand it in the least. So sad that these dear brothers have "returned to their own vomit."

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Kyle Peterson's picture

This statement caused me to stare at the screen for a bit and contemplate. Very true. The Cross (event) was indeed one of the most pivotal events of redemption. However, without the descent, resurrection & ascention the work of Christ would remain incomplete. To this Preterists include what I title: The 40 year-old-virgin (bride) that is the 'church', tribulation, preservation, destruction, catching away, judgment and parousia making for a more complete picture.

Ed's picture

Yes, I'm sorry for using such strong language, but it would seem with Tim's reference to Jude, the scripture seemed appropriate.

What most futurists don't understand is what David Chilton pointed out after becoming a full-pret: if the Law did not pass, and therefore the resurrection did not occur, then we are still under EVERY jot and tittle of the Law. This makes futurists, by implication, judaizers. In most cases, this position is held in ignorance due to poor translations, tyrannical leadership, etc. In Todd's case, as in the case of others who WERE full-prets at one time, this is willful and destructive.

Todd et al. know better because they "have tasted the heavenly gift" of freedom, and rejected it. All because, by their own testimony, God just might happen to be too gracious for them - god forbid, He may even want all to enter into blessedness with Himself. Whether this conclusion is true or not (and personally believe it is), Todd et al. have a responsibility to study the scripture and "show themselves approved," rather than base their theology on the rejection of what might possibly be (although arguably, I admit) a conclusion that turns their stomach.

This is Judaizing at its worst. To deny grace to some is foreign to the gospel of Jesus. It's one thing to state categorically that someone must exercise faith to experience the blessedness of afterlife, it's quite another to tell God how gracious He is allowed to be. To me, that's where Todd et al. have returned to their vomit - placing the demands of the Law upon others, while accepting God's grace in light of their own failures.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

chrisliv's picture

Hey,

Nice points, Tim.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

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