Revelation and the First Century: Preterist Interpretations of the Apocalypse in Early Christianity

by Francis X. Gumerlock
Publisher: American Vision

A review by Jack Kettler

Francis X. Gumerlock (Ph. D., in historical theology) teaches Latin and theology in Colorado. His other books on eschatology include The Day and the Hour (2000), The Early Church and the End of the World co-authored with Gary DeMar (2006), and the The Seven Seals of the Apocalypse (2009).

With this new work, Dr. Gumerlock continues to distinguish himself as an expert in eschatological studies, and in particular, the eschatology of the “Early Church.” Dr. Gumerlock is uniquely qualified for this in depth eschatological study because of his doctorate in “historical theology” and his ability as a professional Latin translator and teacher.

In this highly educational and fascinating study of “Early Church,” and preterist interpretations, Dr. Gumerlock sets down the gold standard in a number of important ways for this type of research. First, Dr. Gumerlock provides an exemplary example of Christian scholarly charity when interacting with differing points of view. Second, his handling of ancient texts and various possible interpretations are thoroughgoing and satisfying. Third, Dr. Gumerlock's own Latin translation of the “Early Church” texts, sets this work apart from the vast majority of titles dealing with eschatology.

Solutions to Important Eschatological Questions Found in the Book:

  1. When did John write the book of Revelation?
  2. Evidence for a fulfillment of John's Apocalypse in the 1st Century.
  3. Was Nero the beast of Revelation?
  4. Does Nero's name calculate out to 666?
  5. Does “the hour of testing” in Revelation 3:10 occur after Nero's death?

For those in transition out of dispensational eschatology, this work will be invaluable. Chiefly, because it provides overwhelming evidence from the “Early Church,” that preterism* was well known, respected and held by many important early church leaders. This important work by Dr. Gumerlock firmly establishes, that those who have asserted that preterism is an invention appearing later in church history do not have a leg to stand on.

* Preterism is a eschatological perspective that interprets many end of age prophecies in Scripture as events that have already happened. The term preterism comes from the Latin word “praeter,” which is a prefix denoting that something is “past.” Preterists argue that many prophecies found in Daniel, Mathew 24 and John's Revelation were fulfilled in the 1st Century.

This book by Dr. Gumerlock most certainly deserves a wide hearing and circulation. It is an invaluable resource that should be on the shelf of every serious student of Biblical eschatology.


Mr. Kettler is an ordained Presbyterian Elder and the owner of http://www.Undergroundnotes.com where his theological, philosophical and political articles can be read.