An archive of works against hyper preterism aka full preterism from a confessionally Reformed perspective.

In the Days of His Flesh

In a recent radio debate with Sam Frost, hyperpreterist Don Preston appealed to Hebrews 5:7 to suggest that Jesus Christ ditched His body. According to this false teacher, this verse speaks of a time when Jesus was “of the flesh” but is no more. Hebrews 5:7 states, “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;…”

John Calvin did not have to deal with hyperpreterists. But he did have to deal with “fanatical men” who argued that Jesus “is divested of his flesh.”

Here’s his commentary:

7. Who in the days, etc. As the form and beauty of Christ is especially disfigured by the cross, while men do not consider the end for which he humbled himself, the Apostle again teaches us what he had before briefly referred to, that his wonderful goodness shines forth especially in this respect, that he for our good subjected himself to our infirmities. It hence appears that our faith is thus confirmed, and that his honor is not diminished for having borne our evils.

He points out two causes why it behooved Christ to suffer, the proximate and the ultimate. The proximate was, that he might learn obedience; and the ultimate, that he might be thus consecrated a priest for our salutation.

The days of his flesh no doubt mean his life in this world. It hence follows, that the word flesh does not signify what is material, but a condition, according to what is said in 1 Corinthians 15:50, “Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Rave then do those fanatical men who dream that Christ is now divested of his flesh, because it is here intimated that he has outlived the days of his flesh for it is one thing to be a real man, though endued with a blessed immortality; it is another thing to be liable to those human sorrows and infirmities, which Christ sustained as long as he was in this world, but has now laid aside, having been received into heaven.

Let us now look into the subject. Christ who was a Son, who sought relief from the Father and was heard, yet suffered death, that thus he might be taught to obey. There is in every word a singular importance. By days of the flesh he intimates that the time of our miseries is limited, which brings no small alleviation. And doubtless hard were our condition, and by no means tolerable, if no end of suffering were set before us. The three things which follow bring us also no small consolations; Christ was a Son, whom his own dignity exempted from the common lot of men, and yet he subjected himself to that lot for our sakes: who now of us mortals can dare refuse the same condition? Another argument may be added, — though we may be pressed down by adversity, yet we are not excluded from the number of God’s children, since we see him going before us who was by nature his only Son; for that we are counted his children is owing only to the gift of adoption by which he admits us into a union with him, who alone lays claim to this honor in his own right.

John Calvin

Once again, we find Calvin using the most harsh of words to describe those who reject fundamental Orthodox Christian teaching. In fact, in another place Calvin states that a rejection of the continual incarnation of Christ is a rejection of the Gospel. In his commentary on 2 Cor. 5, he writes:

Scripture proclaims throughout, that Christ does now as certainly lead a glorious life in our flesh, as he once suffered in it. Nay more, take away this foundation, and our whole faith falls to the ground; for whence comes the hope of immortality, except from this, that we have already a pattern of it in the person of Christ? For as righteousness is restored to us on this ground, that Christ, by fulfilling the law in our nature, has abolished Adam’s disobedience, so also life has been restored to us by this means, that he has opened up for our nature the kingdom of God, from which it had been banished, and has given it a place in the heavenly dwelling. Hence, if we do not now recognize Christ’s flesh, we lose the whole of that confidence and consolation that we ought to have in him. But we acknowledge Christ as man, and as our brother in his flesh — not in a fleshly manner; because we rest solely in the consideration of his spiritual gifts. Hence he is spiritual to us, not as if he laid aside the body, and became a spirit, but because he regenerates and governs his own people by the influence of his Spirit.

John Calvin

Those who deny this fundamental truth are not our Brothers; this includes the fanatical, so-called ‘Calvinist Full Preterists’, who are neither Calvinist/Reformed or even broadly Christian.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print

One Response

  1. Great article!
    I had an online discussion with a certain Alex Polyak (on Sam Frost’s Facebook) where Alex actually used this argument. My goal was to undercut his claim that Heb 5:7 *implies* that Christ ditched his body. In my reply I too used Calvin as you do! However, the main thrust of my argument against Alex was to use Don Preston’s own embracing of the scholar Michaels on 1 Peter 3:18 in which Don agrees the word flesh is not biological. I also quoted for corroboration Meyer on Heb 5:7,9. Alex conceded the point by changing his stance from *implies* to “this likely means”. Of course I jumped all over that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Articles

A Man Will Judge the World

BEING THEN GOD’S OFFSPRING, WE OUGHT NOT TO THINK THAT THE DIVINE BEING IS LIKE GOLD OR SILVER OR STONE, AN IMAGE FORMED BY THE

Read »

In the Days of His Flesh

In a recent radio debate with Sam Frost, hyperpreterist Don Preston appealed to Hebrews 5:7 to suggest that Jesus Christ ditched His body. According to

Read »

Videos

Audios