Monday, September 5, 2016

Confounding by His predicting

Paulus Orosius (375-418 a.d.), a Catholic priest, historian, and theologian, and a close friend and student of St Augustine, recorded a seven-volume history of important events in life of the Christian Church. In one of his works he quotes Matthew 24:6-9 as a prediction of Jesus, warning first century Jewish believers about the soon-coming destruction of Jerusalem under Vespasian and Titus. This of course, fits neatly into what I've been saying throughout this series, namely, that the early Christian church believed and taught this seemingly "preterist" view consistently. Orosius wrote:

But when at that time the city of Jerusalem had been captured and overthrown, as the prophets foretold, and after the complete destruction of the Jewish people, Titus, who had been ordained by the judgment of God to avenge the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, as victor, holding a triumph with his father, Vespasian, closed the temple of Janus. Thus, although the temple of Janus was opened in the last days of Caesar, nevertheless, for long periods of time thereafter there were no sounds of war, although the army was in readiness for action. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself, then, in the Gospels, when in those times the whole world was living in the greatest tranquility and a single peace covered all peoples and He was asked by His disciples about the end of the coming times, among other things said this: "You shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. Take care that you do not be alarmed, for these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nations will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be pestilences and famines and earthquakes in various places. But all those things are the beginnings of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and will put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake." Moreover, Divine Providence, by teaching this, strengthened the believers by giving warning and confounded the unbelievers by His predicting.1

1. Roy J. Deferrer, trans., Paulus Orosius: The Seven Books of History Against the Pagans. FC 50: 289-90. Cited in Francis X. Gumerlock, Revelation and the First Century: Preterist Interpretations of the Apocalypse in Early Christianity (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press; 2012) p. 171 

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