The Destruction of Jerusalem, the Mysterious Language of St. Paul’s Description of the Man of Sin, and the Day of the Lord

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Many of the arguments happening today over eschatology were discussed by people like Nisbett centuries ago. If more commentators had paid attention to his works, we would not still be arguing as we do.

For most modern readers, Nehemiah Nisbett (d. 1812) is an unknown writer. He’s almost never quoted or cited, and yet his works were widely read in his day. He was most noted for his works dealing with the defense of Christianity against skeptics in The Triumphs of Christianity over Infidelity Displayed; Or the Coming of the Messiah, the True Key to the Right Understanding of the Most Difficult Passages in the New Testament… A Full Answer to the Objection of Mr. Gibbon, That Our Lord and His Apostles Predicted the Near Approach of the End of the World in Their Own Times.

Most of Nisbett’s works dealt with eschatology. Nisbett would be described as a preterist on passages that many partial preterists would say are yet to be fulfilled. This is especially true of his interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 5. 

I was introduced to Nisbett’s books by John Bray who discovered them while traveling in England. While doing research at Cambridge University on Matthew 24, he came across Nisbett’s book An Attempt to Illustrate Various Important Passages in the Epistles, etc., of the New Testament, from our Lord’s Prophecies of the Old Testament. To which is Added an Appendix, Containing Remarks upon Dr. MacKnight’s Commentary and Notes on the Two Epistles to the Thessalonians that was published in 1787.

Bray shortened the title to The Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem and first published it in booklet form in 1992. In 1997, he republished Nisbett’s 1808 work The Mysterious Language of St. Paul, in his Description of the Man of Sin [2 Thess. 2] Proved from the Gospel History, to Relate Not to the Church of Rome, but to the Times in Which it was Written. With Some Remarks upon Sir H.M. Wellwood’s Sermons on Matt. xxiv. 14 as The Man of Sin of II Thessalonians 2.

The original works were difficult to read because of the ornate fonts and the unusual way of dealing with quoted material and added notes. Bray had them published with a modern font.

American Vision has updated the typesetting and combined the two books into a single volume under the title The Destruction of Jerusalem, the Mysterious Language of St. Paul’s Description of the Man of Sin, and the Day of the Lord. All the Greek words have been transliterated. Quoted and referenced Scripture passages have been added where Nisbett does not include them. The notes have been included as footnotes using standard numbering. Nisbett cites and quotes numerous obscure and long out-of-print theological authors and their works. When possible, the original source of a referenced or quoted work is included in the source reference as well as a link in a bracketed footnote. Likewise for the first names of authors and when they lived. Nisbett’s use of italic is preserved, and there is a lot of it. For the most part, Roman numerals were converted to Arabic numbers (see included sample pages).

This new version of Nisbett’s two outstanding apologetic works is a welcome addition to any Christian’s library.

Paperback or PDF Download, 132 pages


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