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The Parousia: A Critical Inquiry into the New Testament Doctrine of Our Lord’s Second Coming

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Late nineteenth-century theologian James Stuart Russell’s study of the second coming, first published anonymously in 1878, has become a classic in eschatology. Russell—who viewed AD 70 as the time of the second coming, and the beginning of the millennium—examines “whether there may not be a fundamental difference between the relation of the church of the apostolic age to the predicted Parousia and the relation to that event sustained by subsequent ages.”

Russell posits that “there must therefore be some grave misconception on the part of those who maintain that the Christian church of today occupies precisely the same relation and should maintain the same attitude towards the ‘coming of the Lord’ as the church in the days of St. Paul.” This volume is an attempt to “clear up this misconception and to ascertain the true meaning of the Word of God on a subject which holds so conspicuous a place in the teaching of our Lord and his apostles.” His work presents a thorough and tightly-reasoned case for Preterism.

With Logos Bible Software, this volume is enhanced with cutting-edge research tools. Scripture citations appear on mouseover in your preferred English translation. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful topical searches help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Tablet and mobile apps let you take the discussion with you. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Resource Experts
  • Presents a classic study on the second coming
  • Thoroughly examines the Parousia as referenced throughout Scripture
  • Offers a tightly-reasoned case for Preterism
  • The Last Words of Old Testament Prophecy
  • The Parousia in the Gospels
  • The Teaching of Our Lord Concerning the Parousia in the Synoptical Gospels
  • The Parousia in the Acts and the Epistles
  • The Parousia in the Apocalypse

Top Highlights

“The restitution, or rather restoration [ἀποκατάστασις] of all things, is said to be the theme of all prophecy; then it can only refer to what Scripture designates ‘the kingdom of God,’ the end and purpose of all the dealings of God with Israel.” (Page 151)

“Our Lord distinctly forewarned His disciples that when they saw certain specified signs of the approaching catastrophe” (Page 453)

“But we have seen that John the Baptist predicted a judgment which was then impending—a catastrophe so near that already the axe was lying at the root of the trees,—in accordance with the prophecy of Malachi, that ‘the great and dreadful day of the Lord’ was to follow on the coming of the second Elijah. We are therefore brought to the conclusion, that this discrimination between the righteous and the wicked, this gathering of the wheat into the garner, and burning of the tares in the furnace of fire, refer to the same catastrophe, viz., the wrath which came upon that very generation, when Jerusalem became literally ‘a furnace of fire,’ and the æon of Judaism came to a close in ‘the great and dreadful day of the Lord.’” (Page 24)

“It was the belief of the Jews that the Messiah would introduce a new æon: and this new æon, or age, they called ‘the kingdom of heaven.’ The existing æon, therefore, was the Jewish dispensation, which was now drawing to its close; and how it would terminate our Lord impressively shows in these parables. It is indeed surprising that expositors should have failed to recognise in these solemn predictions the reproduction and reiteration of the words of Malachi and of John the Baptist.” (Page 23)

  • Title: The Parousia: A Critical Inquiry into the New Testament Doctrine of Our Lord’s Second Coming
  • Author: James Stuart Russell
  • Publisher: Daldy, Isbister & Co.
  • Print Publication Date: 1878
  • Logos Release Date: 2016
  • Pages: 589
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Second Advent
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-02-12T05:15:12Z

James Stuart Russell (1816–1895) was born in Elgin, Scotland. Entering King’s College, University of Aberdeen, at 12 years old, he completed his MA at 18. After a short time working in a law office, he began preparing for ministry, studying at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and finally Cheshunt College. Russell became a Congregationalist minister, pastoring in Great Yarmouth, Tottenham and Edmonton, and finally Bayswater, where he stayed until his retirement in 1888. Upon publication of The Parousia, Russell was given an honorary Doctor in Divinity from the University of Aberdeen.


12 ratings

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  1. Jacob Williams

    Jacob Williams


  2. jim kerr

    jim kerr


    The seminal work on Covenant Eschatology. If you can read this book and still be an all-in futurist, you need to work on your comprehension skills. Russell has provided an unparalleled primer on preterism that will repair every contradiction in your tradition's view of the End Times, the Olivet Discourse, and the great and terrible day of the Lord.
  3. Forrest Cole

    Forrest Cole


  4. John Doe

    John Doe


    This book changed my life, now I have more reasons to believe that we Christians must retake the culture and the government.
  5. Josh



    This book is fantastic. It will forever change they way you read the NT. Russell lost me at the very end when discussing the Millennium, but he challenged many of my beliefs about the "end-times". A must read for anyone curious about preterism.
  6. BDW



    If you are a biblicist who holds to the doctrine of inerrancy and sola scriptura, this book will be most persuasive. It is clear from James' writings that he has a high view of the Word of God and devotes over 500 pages to exegetical and theological analysis, rather than lengthy discussion on tradition or creedalism. The most powerful argument in the book boils down to this: If the Apostles and/or Jesus taught that the coming was going to occur within their lifetime, were they wrong? And if they were wrong, how can you trust anything else they said? If Jesus was wrong when he prophesied the events taking place within a generation (Matt. 24:34), he nothing more than a false prophet. If the Apostles were wrong by there declarations of an imminent coming, how are their teachings to be trusted elsewhere? Here are a few quotes to this point: "That both the apostle and the Thessalonians believed that ‘the coming of the Lord was drawing nigh,’ is so evident that it scarcely requires any argument to prove it. The only question is, were they mistaken, or were they not? James Stuart Russell, The Parousia: A Critical Inquiry into the New Testament Doctrine of Our Lord’s Second Coming (London: Daldy, Isbister & Co., 1878), 164." "We accept the facts verified by the historian on the word of man; is it for Christians to hesitate to accept the facts which are vouched by the word of the Lord? James Stuart Russell, The Parousia: A Critical Inquiry into the New Testament Doctrine of Our Lord’s Second Coming (London: Daldy, Isbister & Co., 1878), 169."
  7. George Somsel
    Russell makes an estremely valiant attempt to refer the vision of the Apocalypse to historical foundations which is a refreshing change from those views which attempt to assign to it later events as the fulfillment of prophecy. He is, however, like a man with a hammer who sees everything as a nail. Everything is more or less assigned to Jerusalem. While Jerusalem does enter into the picture in a couple of points, it is amazing to think that the seven churches to whom the Apocalypse was written would be so concerned with events in Jerusalem as to be almost consumed by it. Nevertheless, despite these limitations he does bring forth some worthwhile observations at certain points. For much of the discussion St Augustine's view of the two cities (the City of this World and the City of God is preferable. Sample it wisely.
  8. Debra W Bouey
  9. Rockwell Taylor
  10. Jon Munch

    Jon Munch


    Excellent book - I absolutely love the first section titled "The Last Words of Old Testament Prophecy - The Book of Malachi". While not an exhaustive commentary on every chapter and verse, it provides a brief synopsis of the meaning of the final words of the Old Testament, announcing not only the coming Messiah, but also the purpose and nature of His coming. Looking forward to having this in my electronic library, as I have it in book form.


Digital list price: $16.49
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