I was recently watching a debate on the dating of Revelation in which Hank Hanegraaff made some very interesting arguments in support of his hermeneutic, which he referred to as "exegetical eschatology." He said his approach has often been misclassified as "Preterist" or "Partial Preterist," but maintained that this is definitely not a correct classification of his hermeneutic.

I'm not very familiar with this hermeneutic, but it sounds as though he sees an immediate fulfillment, which is related to an eschatological reality, maybe? (I'm not sure I have that right.) He mentioned that he has a book out which explains his hermeneutic more fully, although I'm not sure which book that is. (Maybe this one?)

My question is for those who are actually familiar with this hermeneutic: Is this hermeneutic original, or are there other notable Biblical scholars that use this interpretive approach to Biblical prophecy?

Please note that I am aware that the term "exegetical eschatology" was coined by Hank Hanegraaff, so I'm not wondering whether or not that label has been used by other scholars (it probably has not); I am wondering whether that approach has been the approach of any other major Biblical scholars throughout history, or if his ideas are novel. In other words, is this just "Hank Hanegraaff's hermeneutic," or does this represent a noteworthy school of interpretation?

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    A rule which is enforced on others is that there must be a scriptural reference, otherwise this is off topic. I suggest that this is not off topic since it speaks about hermeneutics, where the imposed rule suggests topics are supposed to be about exegeting particular scriptures.
    – Bob Jones
    Commented Jul 11, 2021 at 17:54

1 Answer 1


Hanegraaff's eschatological approach is described in great detail in his book The Apocalypse Code (not to be confused with Apocalypse Code by Hal Lindsey). It is also very clear that his hermeneutic is not even remotely original to him. He hits almost all of the same notes that have been used by preterists for the last few decades, including:

  • Argument for apocalyptic figure of speech, against overt literalism
  • Emphasis on the 'you' in Jesus' prophecies as speaking to Jesus' contemporaries
  • Emphasis on 'this generation' as speaking about Jesus' contemporaries
  • Focus on the grammatical-historical approach to the bible in general
  • Argument from internal evidence that the Revelation was written pre-70 AD
  • Argument that 666 is gematria for the name 'Nero Caesar'

Very few of Hanegraaff's arguments are unique to him. The only thing particularly unique is his extensive (and in many cases excessive) use of acronyms.

In addition, Hanegraaff launched a fiction series, The Last Disciple, to compete with the dispensationalism of Left Behind. Given that the premise of Hanegraaff's series was that the Olivet discourse and the Revelation were almost entirely focused on the events of 66-70 AD, it is clear that '(partial) preterism' is a perfectly accurate description of his eschatology.

  • @MarkEdward-Yes, agreed. The "Preterist" viewpoint is pretty far out on the eschatological scale-assuming that 'everything' happened by 70AD. This viewpoint is undefendable-given that Zachariah's Mtn. hasn't split in two yet(send me a postcard if you see otherwise). He is FIRMLY in the Covenant/Replacement Camp (ie:church is the 'Israel of God') and interprets the events as Israel's statehood as a sympathetic gesture-not as God fulfilling His Covenant Promise. BOTH Covenant and Dispensational Theologies are train wrecks in eschatological interpretation.
    – Tau
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 2:33
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    Using Zechariah's prophecy of the mountain splitting open, as one example, as a proof-text against preterism (or any other view) hardly proves anything, if preterism's exegetical approach doesn't take Zechariah's prophecy as literal to begin with. In addition, 'covenant theology' is not the same thing as 'replacement theology'. The latter is more a mudslinging bogeyman than it is an accurate description of the people it is usually applied to.
    – user2910
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 3:24
  • @MarkEdward-Hmmm, are there any proponants of Covenant Theology who acknowledge God's Eternal Covenant w/Israel?
    – Tau
    Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 5:53
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    Not interested in arguing the point. The question was about whether Hanegraaff's eschatology could properly be identified as 'preterism'.
    – user2910
    Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 18:30
  • @MarkEdwards-(Last Comment) I will assume then, your'gravis' w/ Hank Hannegraaf have more to do how he represents 'preterist/partial preterism' vs whether or not he takes that position. Also. FYI-Dispensationalists also use the 'Historical-grammatical method, in an entirely different context. Read Dwight Pentacost's "Things to Come" to verify.
    – Tau
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 2:14

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