Preterism

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Preterism is an interpretation of Christian eschatology which holds that most or all of the biblical prophecies concerning the End Times refer to events which have already happened in the 1st century after Christ's birth. The system also claims that Ancient Israel finds its continuation or fulfillment in the Christian church at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The term preterism comes from the Latin praeter, which is listed in Webster's 1913 dictionary as a prefix denoting that something is "past" or "beyond," signifying that either all or a majority of Bible prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70. Adherents of Preterism are commonly known as Preterists.

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History of Preterism

Proponents of Preterism sometimes argue that this position was the original eschatological understanding of the Early Christian church,[1][2] a claim contested by Historicists.[3] One Preterist has been said to hold that the view was developed in the 17th century,[4] a view also held by many non-Preterists.[5][6][7]

There has historically been general agreement that the first systematic Preterist exposition of prophecy was written by the Jesuit Luis De Alcasar during the Counter Reformation.[8][9] Moses Stuart noted that Alcasar's Preterist interpretation was of considerable benefit to the Roman Catholic Church during its arguments with Protestants,[10] and Preterism has been described in modern eschatological commentary as a Catholic defense against the Protestant Historicist view which identified the Roman Catholic Church as a persecuting apostasy.[11]

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