Friday, December 14, 2012

Response to ADW's "Why the Modern View of the Book of Revelation may be Flawed"

My response to the recent endorsement by a pastoral staff member of the Archdiocese of Washington, a Monsignor Charles Pope, of David Chilton's Days of Vengeance and Chilton's style of "partial preterism".

The rather lengthy and well defended article can be found here:
Why the Modern View of the Book of Revelation may be Flawed

My response to this post (from Dec 4, 2012) is copied below:

Msgr. Charles Pope,

Thank you for your blog post. It has created quite a bit of buzz in the community of “full”/”consistent” preterists that exists primarily online in discussion groups and on Facebook. Laypeople particularly will benefit from being more informed of the various views concerning this difficult book, so thank you again for your contribution.

As you are aware, the “preterist” view (though not as thoroughgoing as David Chilton) was common, even dominant, in the 19th century among pastors and many scholars. However, the academic community has largely turned away from this former consensus to the modern persuasion (including most Catholic – e.g. Brown, Fitzmeyer, Meier, the USCCB, Ford the exception – and Protestant – e.g. Aune, Metzger, Yarbro Collins – professors, commentators, and exegetes). The number of credentialed representatives of preterism (of the Chilton variety – pre-AD 70 composition, Jerusalem as Babylon) is very small today, and I do not see it growing except on the internet among lay people and the non-academically engaged (i.e. publishing) priests and pastors.

There is a scholarly core representing the generally “conservative” preterist minority camp on the Olivet Discourse (Hatina, Caird, France) that appears to be growing slightly (primarily thanks to the prolific N. T. Wright), but they do not endorse the minority(-minority) view on Revelation. Being largely guided by the opinion of scholarship, who from the modern academy would you recommend on Revelation?

For those interested, the work of any number of scholars is a good place to start on the majority view. You can pretty much pick up any academic commentary and be well treated. I regularly commend the treatment on composition date by Beale in his commentary introduction, as well as works on Revelation that address the issue at depth, such as A. Y. Collins Crisis and Catharsis.

Thank you again, Msgr. Pope.

James Metzger

Unfortunately, it appears Msgr. Charles Pope ceased interaction with replies to the post a day or two before my post.

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