Horae Apocalypticae or Hours with the Apocalypse

E.B. Elliot (1793-1875)

The title continues: "Illustrated by an Apocalyptic Chart, and Engravings from Medals and Other Extant Monuments of Antiquity. With Appendices: Containing, Besides Other matters, A Sketch of the History of Apocalyptic Interpretation, Critical Reviews of the Chief Apocalyptic Counter-Schemes, and Indices." This four volume set is respected by many as a scholarly work on eschatology. It will be especially valuable in our day as it absolutely destroys the Jesuit inspired preterist system by conclusively proving a late date for the writing of the book of Revelation. Elliott also demonstrates the impossibility of the futurist system, which, like preterism, was also concocted (as a system) by the Jesuits to counteract the classic Reformation eschatology called historicism. That this is no small issue is clear, as Kevin Reed exhibits (in his book review titled "The Ecclesiology of John Foxe: A book review by Kevin Reed of John Foxe and the Elizabethan Church by V. Norskov Olsen [Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973]") by citing Olsen when he writes,

The Counter Reformation is generally considered to have three aspects: the Jesuits, the Inquisition, and the Council of Trent. In view of the significance of the Protestant apocalyptic interpretation of history which prophetically pinpointed step by step the events covering the whole Christian era from the beginning to the end, it seems justifiable to suggest a fourth aspect, namely the praeteristic and futuristic interpretations launched by Catholic expositors as a counterattack (p. 47).

All the major Reformers and all the major Reformation creeds and confessionsRoman Forum adopted the historicist position — and it is this position that Elliott so skillfully defends. Included in Horae Apocalypticae you will also find a very useful historical survey of who held which positions concerning eschatology, much history on the Roman empire (and its interaction with Christianity), how the Reformation, Islam, etc. were prophesied in the Apocalypse, a world chronology according to the Hebrew Scriptures (which would make the Earth 6127 years old), patristic views of prophecy, the beast and his mark (666) revealed, and much more. The Papacy is also shown to be the apocalyptic antichrist, which was a standard position among the Reformers. Elliott also deals with Moses Stuart's Preterism.

Biographical Information

"Edward Bishop Elliott (1793-1875), scholarly prophetic expositor, received his education at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating in 1816. After traveling in Italy and Greece he was given the vicarage of Tuxford, Nottingham, in 1824, and later was made prebendary of Heytesbury, Wiltshire. In 1849 he became incumbent of St. Mark's Church, Brighton. A member of the Evangelical school, he was an earnest promoter of missionary enterprise and an ardent advocate of premillenialism. Elliott was thoroughly equipped as a scholar and was deeply interested in prophecy, spending a lifetime in investigation and seeking to understand God's mind thereon.

His Horae Apocalypticae (Hours with the Apocalypse) [literally 'time with the Apocalypse'] is doubtless the most elaborate word ever produced on the Apocalypse... Begun in 1837, its 2500 pages of often involved and overloaded text are buttressed by some 10,000 invaluable references to ancient and modern works bearing on the topics under discussion.... Perhaps its most unique feature is the concluding sketch of the rise and spread of the Jesuit counter systems of interpretation that had made such inroads upon Protestantism. Holding unswervingly to the Historical School of interpretation, Elliott gives the most complete exposure of these counter interpretations to be found." (The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Leroy Froom vol. III, pgs. 716-718)

Elliott stressed the evidence of the illustrative coins and medallions of the centuries as an original contribution in the field of prophetic/historical evidence.


Turning from the prophecy to history, there seems to me on the whole to be six chief parts, or acts, clearly defined in the sacred prefigurative drama before us.... their historic subject matter being respectively as follows:

  1. That of the temporary glory, and then the decline and fall of Rome Pagan, before the power of Christianity: the subject of the first six Seals.
  2. The ravage and destruction of Rome Christian, after its apostasy, in its divisions both east and west; of the western empire by the Goths, of the eastern by the Saracens and Turks: the subject of the first six Trumpets.
  3. The history of the Reformation, as introduced about the middle of the sixth Trumpet.
  4. The supplemental and explanatory history of the rise and character of the Papacy and Papal Empire, that sprung out of the Gothic inundation's of Western Europe. A part corresponding as I see it, with the writing without on the prophetic role; and which was exhibited in preparation for the figuration of Popedom's final overthrow.
  5. The final overthrow of the Papacy and Papal Empire, under the outpouring of the Vials of God's wrath; and the coming of Christ in judgment. Consequent on which follows,
  6. The glorious consummation... 1

1 E.B. Elliott, Horae Apocalypticae, Vol IV, pages 107-108

ELLIOTT, E.B. Preterism Refuted ([1862] 2000, 3 cassettes) Contains all of the sections from Elliott's classic Horae Apocalypticae; or, A Commentary on the Apocalypse which directly refute preterism ("Critical Examination and Refutation of the Chief Counter-Schemes of Apocalyptic Interpretation," Vol. 4, Appendix part 2, pp. 564-599) -- as well as a defense of the late date for the book of Revelation (Vol. 1, Essay 2, pp. 32-48; Vol. 1, Appendix, pp. 533-548) and a defense of the Scriptural "year-day" principle of prophetic Protestant interpretation (Vol. 3, pp. 260ff.). Furthermore, these tapes show why it is Scripturally impossible for Nero to be the antichrist, while also taking a few passing shots a futurism (though most of what Elliott wrote against futurism can only be found in the complete printed set of Horae Apocalypticae).

I've secured, with the help of a friend, an electronic copy of Vol 4 and have put it online.

A Critical Examination and Refutation of the Three Chief Counter Schemes of Apocalyptic Interpretation. Namely;

In Elliott's exposition in the light of day, the prayerful student will see how these counter interpretations, have led astray the Body of Christ.

*Volume 1, 4th Edition, 1851, Seelys, Fleet Street and Hanover Street London

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