Many critics of the New Testament, in their dismissal of the Olivet Discourse (the little Apocalypse) of Matthew 24, will argue Vaticinium ex eventu (“Prophecy after the event”). This argument postulates that the Gospels were actually written after the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 and this “prophecy” by Jesus was never uttered by the Christ in AD 30, and was instead written by the Gospel writers after the events that the prophecy forewarns.
Many of my critics will argue that my “prophecies” are Vaticinium ex eventu ineptia, prophecies absurdly after the event, being it is currently two millennia after the events occurred. But my arguments in the Next Testament are not prophecies, in and of themselves. My arguments concern solely the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Little Apocalypse and Revelation with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The Next Testament is purely Vaticinium adimpletionem ex eventu (excuse my vulgar Latin translation– “fulfillment of prophecy after the event”), an unholy crime.
But are not all prophecies fulfilled after they occur? We only, begrudgingly, recognize a prophecy was, in fact, a prophecy after the event. We do not sit around, as a society, awaiting the fulfillment of any prophecy whether by Isaiah, Daniel, Jesus of Nazareth, or Nostradamus. The early Christians knew of Jesus’ Little Apocalypse, they knew Jesus said the prophecy would be fulfilled within their generation, but they went about their lives oblivious to the truly imminent fulfillment of said prophecy. Only fools, like William Miller and his Millerites, sit around awaiting the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies like the Apocalypse, only to be left disappointed and disillusioned.
The most preeminent of Biblical scholars to this very day do not recognize the fulfillment of Jesus’ Little Apocalypse within that generation (Mt. 24:34) through the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in AD 70. Instead, most Dispensational Futurists believe all of the prophecies of John’s Apocalypse and most, if not all, of Jesus’ Little Apocalypse are yet to be fulfilled in some future event. Preterists believe that most, if not all, of the New Testament’s prophecies were fulfilled around a single historical event, the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. Preterists have to “pound nails into the floor with their foreheads” to get their interpretation of Biblical prophecy heard; this is how loud and proud Dispensational Futurists have become over the last couple of centuries.