Please enable javascript in your browser to view this site!

Subscribe now

History Revealed in Advance

By Philip Parsons
July 2018 | Review by Digby James
  • Publisher:
  • ISBN: 0244308624
  • Pages: 122
  • Price: £5.50
Buy this book »

Book Review

This book is subtitled ‘Predictive prophecy in the Book of Daniel’. Daniel and Revelation are commonly misapplied by cults to justify their bizarre theories; such is not the case here. The author seeks to expound the prophetic passages of Daniel according to biblical principles of interpretation, albeit acknowledging that his views on prophecy have evolved over the years.

This is a readable and enjoyable work aimed at the general reader. No knowledge of biblical languages is required. The most technical comment is the observation that Daniel is written partly in Hebrew and partly in Aramaic.

Before beginning his exposition, Parsons deals with the issue of interpretation: how are we to understand prophecy? There are occasions though where he seems to deviate from his own principles and I found myself in disagreement with his exegesis.

In dealing with the dream of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2 (concerning the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman Empires), he follows most commentators. However, he adds that the ten toes of the image relate to some form of continued Roman Empire, comprised of civilisations that succeeded it down to the present day.

The fifth chapter, ‘An expanded view of history’, considers Daniel 7. The identity of the ‘little horn’ is dealt with in detail in the sixth chapter. He takes the view that it is a reference to Antichrist, identified by most Reformers and their successors as the papacy. The second appendix gives a series of quotations from the Reformation period to support this view. The author believers that both partial preterism (the view that most prophecies have already been fulfilled) and dispensationalism were inventions of Romanists attempting to undermine this view of who the Antichrist really is.

Daniel 9 is expounded as the run-up to the coming of Christ and the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. The ‘seventy sevens’ (‘weeks’ in some translations) of Daniel 9:24 are not seen as literal years but symbolic of this period of time, that is the 600 years to AD 70.

Some theologians claim the Temple will be rebuilt in the future, but the author writes, ‘Any attempt to rebuild the Temple’ after its destruction by the Romans ‘would be … repugnant to God’ (p.71).

The first half of Daniel 11 is explained as the persecution of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes, but, halfway through the chapter, the author believes the subject switches to a future oppressor of the people of God.

References to Jerusalem are not seen as relating to the modern state of Israel. He holds out the hope of a future great turning of the Israeli population to Christ. Whether readers will agree with all the author’s conclusions will depend on their existing views of prophecy. This reviewer was in agreement with many, though not all, his conclusions.

Digby L. James


Leave a Reply

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Above and Beyond: The illustrated story of Mission Aviation Fellowship
Mission Aviation Fellowship

As someone with a long-standing interest in both aircraft and world mission, this book had immediate appeal to me! But you don’t have to be an aviation nerd to enjoy it. Above and Beyond is a very well-produced coffee table…

See all book reviews
The History and Theology of Calvinism
Curt Daniel

This must be the most comprehensive study of the subject available today. It is difficult to think of any aspect of Calvinism that is not covered. It is divided into two major sections. The first covers the history, and ranges…

Searching Our Hearts in Difficult Times
John Owen

It is difficult to do this book justice in a review – the only way to grasp how helpful it is will be to read it for yourself. John Owen has a reputation for writing in a style that is…

An Introduction to John Owen: A Christian vision for every stage of life
Crawford Gribben

This unusual yet valuable book is not a biography of the influential Puritan. Rather its purpose – which it achieves capably – is ‘to discover the kind of life he hoped his readers would experience’ (p.13). Drawing on Owen’s extensive…