(Mt. 24:22) Is Jesus using hyperbole when he says “no life would have been saved” as Preterists claim?

CLAIM: Jesus says, “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short” (Mt. 24:22). Preterist interpreters claim that this is a use of hyperbole. Really, Jesus simply meant that many people would’ve died without divine intervention. Is this the case?

RESPONSE: The Greek construction is used ten times in the NT (Mt. 24:22; Mk. 13:20; Lk. 3:6; Jn. 17:2; Acts 2:17; Rom. 3:20; 1 Cor. 1:29; 15:39; Gal. 2:16; 1 Pet. 1:24). Futurist Stanley Toussaint writes, “In every case except 1 Corinthians 15:39 the expression describes all humans. In that passage Paul was discussing the nature of the resurrection body: “All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts.” Here he used the phrase in an even broader sense to designate all human and animal life.”[1]


[1] Stanley Toussaint “A Critique of the Preterist View of the Olivet Discourse” Bibliotheca Sacra 161 (October–December 2004): 481.