Dispensationalism teaches that key portions of scripture like Daniel 9, Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation take place at some at sometime in the future. Preterism teaches that much of prophecy took place before the end of the first century.
The third or FUTURIST view, is that which teaches that the prophetic visions of Revelation, from chapters iv to xix, prefigure events still wholly future and not to take place, till just at the close of this dispensation. . . .
In its present form however it may be said to have originated at the end of the sixteenth century, with the Jesuit Ribera, who, moved like Alcazar, to relieve the Papacy from the terrible stigma cast upon it by the Protestant interpretation, tried to do so, by referring those prophecies to the distant future, instead of like Alcazar to the distant past. For a considerable period this view was confined to Romanists, and was refuted by several masterly Protestant works. But of late years, since the commencement of this century, it has sprung up afresh, and sprung up strange to say among Protestants. It was revived by such writers as the two Maitlands, Burgh, Tyso, Dr. Dodd, the leaders of the “Brethren” generally, and by some Puseyite expositors also . . . ” from The Approaching End of the Age
E. B. Elliot explains the origin of Preterism;
“IT was stated at the conclusion of my Sketch of the History of Apocalyptic Interpretation, that there are at present too, and but two, grand general counter-Schemes to what may be called the historic Protestant view of the Apocalypse: that view which regards the prophecy as a prefiguration of the great events that were to happen in the Church, and world connected with it, from St. Johns time to the consummation; including specially the establishment of the Popedom, and reign of Papal Rome, as in some way or other the fulfillment of the types of the Apocalyptic Beast and Babylon. The first of these two counter-Schemes is the Præterists, which would have the prophecy stop altogether short of the Popedom, explaining it of the catastrophes, one or both, of the Jewish Nation and Pagan Rome; and of which there are two sufficiently distinct varieties: the second the Futurists; which in its original form would have it all shoot over the head of the Popedom into times yet future; and refer simply to the events that are immediately to precede, or to accompany, Christs second Advent; or, in its various modified forms, have them for its chief subject. I shall in this second Part of my Appendix proceed successively to examine these two, or rather four, anti-Protestant counter-Schemes; and show, if I mistake not, the palpable untenableness alike of one and all. Which done,1 It may perhaps be well, from respect to his venerated name, to add an examination of the late Dr. Arnolds general prophetic counter-theory. This, together with a notice of certain recent counter-views on the Millennium, will complete our review of counter-prophetic Schemes.
Now with regard to the Præterist Scheme, on the review of which we are first to enter, it may be remembered that I stated it to have had its origin with the Jesuit Alcasar:2 and that it was subsequently, and after Grotius and Hammonds prior adoption of it, adopted and improved by Bossuet, the great Papal champion, under one form and modification;3 then afterwards, under another modification, by Hernnschneider, Eichhorn, and others of the German critical and generally infidel school of the last half-century;4 followed in our own æra by Heinrichs, and by Moses Stuart of the United States of America.5 The two modifications appear to have arisen mainly out of the differences of date assigned to the Apocalypse; whether about the end of Neros reign or Domitians6 I shall, I think, pretty well exhaust whatever can be thought to call for examination in the system, by considering separately, first the Neronic, or favorite German form and modification of the Præterist Scheme, as propounded by Eichhorn, Hug, Heinrichs, and Moses Stuart; secondly Bossuets Domitianic form, the one most generally approved, I believe, by Roman Catholics.” Horae Apocalypticae or Hours with the Apocalypse