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March 3, 2015 at 6:29 am #5984
Luke 21:22 is often cited as seemingly irrefutable proof that all end time prophecies were fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Luke 21:22 is sandwiched in the Olivet Discourse which undoubtedly refers to Israel’s first-century war with Rome. In this context, Luke 21:22 implies that all Bible prophecy will be fulfilled at that time: “because these are the days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled.” Though I consider myself a full preterist because I believe that all end time prophecies have been fulfilled, I do believe that some prophecies like Daniel 12:11-12 and 2 Thessalonians 2:8 were ultimately fulfilled a few years after A.D. 70. Therefore, I do not believe that all end time prophecies were fulfilled in A.D. 70. Does Luke 21:22 disprove a literal 1000 year reign after the Jewish War?
No. All or every does not always mean all or every in the Bible. As noted by John Bray, a similar statement is also made in Luke 18:31: “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished[.]” Of course Jesus’ death on the cross did not fulfill every Messianic prediction. There was still more that was expected to transpire at the Parousia. In Luke 18:31 Jesus seems to imply that His death and resurrection allowed all that remained to be fulfilled to come to pass. (John L. Bray, Matthew 24 Fulfilled, (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press, 2008), 102-104.)
There are many other examples in the Bible in which “all” or “every” does not mean “all” or “every” (Matthew 2:1-3; 4:8; 10:22). The Bible often uses hyperbole for emphasis. All or every does not always mean all or every. When the Bible says that “all things which are written will be fulfilled[,]” one cannot safely assume that there are not some exceptions.
It should be noted that Luke 21:22 is very similar to Matthew 5:17-18: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” The Law appears to have been largely a series of prophetic customs many of which pointed to and were fulfilled by Jesus’ crucifixion as the spotless Lamb of God. The fact that the Law is a series of prophetic customs is strongly implied when Jesus said that He had not come to abolish the Law “but to fulfill” it. Matthew 5:18 says that the Law would not pass until heaven and earth disappears. What Jesus appears to be saying in Matthew 5:17-18 is that all the prophetic customs of the Law would be fulfilled at or by the destruction of heaven and earth in A.D. 70 and it is at this time that the Law (having been fulfilled) would pass (see 2 Peter 3:5-13: A Preterist Commentary). I believe Luke 21:22 should be understood in light of Matthew 5:17-18 and that when it says “all things which are written will be fulfilled” (Luke 21:22) this v. refers primarily to the prophetic customs of the Law and not necessarily to every prophecy in the Bible without exception.
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