This post is just to raise a question about hermeneutics. How much weight should be put on the historic interpretation of a passage by the church, when you are trying to ascertain it’s meaning? In other words, does it matter if no one in the early church interpreted the passage the way you do? What if your interpretation first appeared at the 1600s, or in the early 1900s, or maybe even in this millennium?
For example, some argue that the “coming of the Son of Man” language in the eschatological discourses of the Synoptic gospels (e.g. Matt 16:27-28; Matt 24:27,30,37; Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27) refers not to the “second coming” of Jesus, but rather to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in AD 70. Obviously before coming to a conclusion we would want to perform all the usual and proper hermeneutical steps, checking that we have correctly translated the passage, considered its context, examined Old Testament allusions and parallel passages etc. But suppose you came to the conclusion that the preterist interpretation was the most plausible exegetically. Would it matter whether or not there was any record of the early church expounding these texts to say that these prophecies had been fulfilled in AD70?
The actual exegetical issue I am currently considering is a different one, but it illustrates the problem. How much of a red flag is it that your interpretation is a novel one? Let me know what you think in the comments.