You are hereWhere did the word 'preterist' come from?

Where did the word 'preterist' come from?

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By Virgil - Posted on 11 March 2002

Here is an interesting question asked on takeourword.com: "Can you help me understand where and how the word preterist came from? Futurists believe most end-time prophecies are yet to be fulfilled, while Preterists believe that most or all of Bible prophecy has already been fulfilled in Christ and the ongoing expansion of his kingdom. I would like to know how this word came to be used in theological circles."The answer given was: "Preterist comes from preter, an aphetic form of preterite, which derives from Latin præteritus "gone by, past", formed from præterire, a compound composed of præter "past" + ir "to go". If you've ever studied a foreign language, you might recall the simple past tense of verbs being referred to as preterite, and now you know why. It is for that same reason that preterists are so known, because they believe that the subject of Biblical prophecies have "gone by" or already happened. The term was apparently coined by G.S. Faber for use in a theological work in 1843, so that is how it came to be used in theological circles. He wrote: "To consider certain vituperative prophecies...as already accomplished in the course of the first and second centuries; whence, to commentators of this School, we may fitly apply the name of Preterists."

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