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The Seventy Weeks: A Historical Alternative by Robert Caringola

Perhaps if I'd read this book before I'd read Ralph Woodrow's "Great Prophecies of the Bible," I would have enjoyed it more, but there is nothing here that is not in Woodrow's excellent (and more concise) presentation, and despite Caringola's best intentions, it is without Woodrow's clarity.

Even so, this is, by no means, a bad book. It's well written, with some salient points, but I find his presentations relatively unconvincing. He appeals to history as proof for the fulfillment of key prophecies, but his presentation of these facts can seem overly simplistic. Perhaps the author's understanding of history (he holds a B. A. in history) allows him to see details not presented to the reader, but his presentations are not always sufficient to transmit that understanding.

Caringola also blends seemingly perfectly fulfilled prophecies with very imperfectly fulfilled ones, yet he declares them all perfect fits. This raises suspicions about his entire prophetic model. For example, he declares Daniel's prophecy about the 2300 days before the cleansing of the temple (which historicists see as 2300 years) as being fulfilled in 1967 with the retaking of Jerusalem. But, in 1967, there was no temple there to be cleansed, so how could this fulfill the prophecy? Perhaps there is a better historicist explanation for this verse, but it's not in this book, and the blending of perfect fits with imperfect fits argues against Caringola's purpose.

Caringola also fails to show that a historic fulfillment of the 70 Weeks prophecy does damage to a futurist interpretation of the trumpets and bowls as part of a future Day of the Lord, containing God's final judgment upon the earth. Even if the 70 Weeks are fulfilled in the past, this does not, in itself, discredit the view that the final eschatological Day of the Lord is yet to come.

I also find a huge weakness in focusing on Daniel's 70 Weeks in any case. Historicism's strength is in its arguments for a fulfilled 70 Weeks and in presenting the Antichrist being fulfilled in the historic papacy. But the weakness arises everywhere else, particularly in the fulfillment of prophecies found in Revelation. By focusing on the 70 Weeks and the Antichrist, historicists make their case seem very compelling, which, I suspect, is why you see so little writing on historicists' views of the fulfillment of other prophecies. It's easy to make your case appear strong when you only focus on the best evidence, but there are far more prophecies that historicists must account for. I have yet to find a book that even tries to do so.

Despite these weaknesses, this is a decent book if it's one in a series of historicists books you are reading. But I do not recommend it as the first or only book. For this, I find Woodrow's books to be a better foundation.

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