Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

Discussions on Christian eschatology including different views pertaining to Jesus' second coming, rapture and tribulation, the millennium, and so forth.

What side of the eschatological camp do you find yourself in?

Preterist (full and partial go here)
7
37%
Futurist (still waiting . . .)
10
53%
Other (so you tell me how it goes)
1
5%
Explica me - I am confused.
1
5%
 
Total votes: 19

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puritan lad
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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#106

Post by puritan lad » Sat Aug 11, 2007 5:43 am

I have already given you a list of non-premillennialists in a previous post. Why do you keep changing your requirements? I aim to show that your "problem" is not a problem, per your original challange. Remember you claimed that patristics was a problem because
"You have to explain why no Christian expositor between the 7th century and the early 17th century arrived at the Praeterist interpretation."
(BTW: Did you edit this? I could have swore that it originally said the 2nd and 17th.) Up next, your going to make me explain why it didn't exist between the 16th and 17th. :))

In any case, all I need to do is to find an preterist interpretation of these passages, and your original argument falls. You cannot say that the preterist interpretation has escaped all of the church fathers during that time. You know that isn't true, as I can already give you Eusebius on the Olivet Discourse and Augustine's City of God, dealing with the majority of Revelation and 2 Thess. These are clearly preterist, long before the 17th Century. More details to come.

I also aim to show that much of early church eschatology, even among those on your list, is incompatible with any sort of modern futurism or historicism. (ex., the ten toes were supposed to rise out of the Roman Empire, and the fall of the Roman Empire was supposed to be the end of all things). That is a problem for you.

BTW. You still have posted any Scriptural arguments, EDIT: I see you did post a hermeutic in another thread. Good. Now we are getting somewhere. I'll deal with this "shortly" - Rev. 1:1 (of course, it may take 2,000 years :))

In the meantime, I have a question for Jac.

Jac, Is it a valid method of interpretation to use the New Testament to interpret Messianic Prophecies such as Psalm 22, Isaiah 9:6, Isaiah 53, or Micah 5:2? Have these been fulfilled? How do we determine this? Does the Judaist interpretation of these prophecies matter?

God Bless,

PL
"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." - JOHN OWEN

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#107

Post by Fortigurn » Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:21 am

puritan lad wrote:I have already given you a list of non-premillennialists in a previous post.
That is not what I asked for. I asked for a list of amillennialists or postmillenialists between the 1st and the 4th century. Where is it?
I aim to show that your "problem" is not a problem, per your original challange. Remember you claimed that patristics was a problem because
"You have to explain why no Christian expositor between the 7th century and the early 17th century arrived at the Praeterist interpretation."
(BTW: Did you edit this? I could have swore that it originally said the 2nd and 17th.)
I don't believe I edited it, and it certainly should read the 2nd and the 17th. That is what I said here:
You have to explain why no Christian expositor between the 2nd century and the early 17th century arrived at the Praeterist interpretation.
You have to explain why no Christian expositor between the 2nd century and the early 17th century arrived at the Praeterist interpretation. This, despite the fact that during that thousand years there were plenty of expositions written on Revelation. And how could it be that a whole century of Reformers, including Luther, Melancthon, Osiander, Illyricus, Oecolampadius, Joye, Knox, Bullinger, Conradus, Funck, Solis, Jewell, Ridly, Latimer, Tyndale, Nigrinus, Chytraeus, Aretius, Fulke, Marlorat, Brocard, and Foxe, could have missed this, despite producing careful expositions of Daniel 2, 7 and 9, the Olivet Discourse, 2 Thessalonians 2 and Revelation? Do you honestly believe that the late 16th/early 17th century Roman Catholics were the first Christians living after the 1st century to interpret the Revelation correctly?

This is the 'credibilty gap' which Praeterists of every stripe face. Honest Praeterists admit to it.
You still haven't done this.
In any case, all I need to do is to find an preterist interpretation of these passages, and your original argument falls.
No that is not true. As I have pointed out, you need to show me people who held to a Praeterist interpretation of all these passages. Showing me one person who interprets Daniel 9 the way Praeterists and Historicists interpret Daniel 9, does not achieve this. Showing me another person who interprets the Olivet prophecy the way Praeterists and Historicists interpret the Olivet prophecy, does not achieve this.
You cannot say that the preterist interpretation has escaped all of the church fathers during that time.
Certainly I can. To date you've been unable to find a single one of the Early Fathers who held to a Praeterist interpretation of all the key texts.
You know that isn't true, as I can already give you Eusebius on the Olivet Discourse and Augustine's City of God, dealing with the majority of Revelation and 2 Thess. These are clearly preterist, long before the 17th Century.
You are not reading my posts, and you are not dealing with the issue. You need to show me that Eusebius and Augustine held a Praeterist interpretation of all the texts. That is Praeterism. Do you actually know what Praeterism is?
I also aim to show that much of early church eschatology, even among those on your list, is incompatible with any sort of modern futurism or historicism. (ex., the ten toes were supposed to rise out of the Roman Empire, and the fall of the Roman Empire was supposed to be the end of all things). That is a problem for you.
That is not a problem for me in the least. Differences over specific details of interpretation within the Historicist model are no problem for me, just as differences over specific details of interpretation within the Praeterist model are no problem for you. Someone who believes that Nero was the beast of Revelation holds a Praeterist view of the beast, just as someone who believes that Caligula was the beast of Revelation holds to a Praeterist view of the beast. If they both hold to a Praeterist view of all the key texts, then they are both Praeterists.

You keep trying to avoid the definitive distinction between the Praeterist, Futurist, and Historicist positions. That distinction is when the key texts are to be fulfilled. A Praeterist believes they were all fulfilled by the end of the 1st century. A Futurist believes they are all in the Future. A Historicist believes that together they all cover the time from the Babylonian exile to the return of Christ.
BTW. You still have posted any Scriptural arguments, EDIT: I see you did post a hermeutic in another thread. Good. Now we are getting somewhere.
This is only further evidence that you never bother to read my posts, since I have linked to that hermeneutic three times and you never once read it. I also posted (three times), a link to an extensive Scripture filled exposition of Revelation 12, which not only started with this hermeneutic but gave a brief understanding of how I understand the symbols and how Revelation is to be interpreted with Daniel. I also gave you my Scriptural exposition of Daniel 12. You never read it. I also gave you my Scriptural exposition of the return of the Jews, including Revelation 16. You never read it.
I'll deal with this "shortly" - Rev. 1:1 (of course, it may take 2,000 years :))
The 'shortly' in Revelation 1:1 does not take 2,000 years.

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#108

Post by Jac3510 » Sat Aug 11, 2007 10:36 am

PL, not to be nit-picky, but I'll answer your question when you drop the pejorative language. We both agree that 1st century Judaism was not biblical Judaism. Jesus Himself pointed that out. You are, then, attributing a hermeneutic priority to me that I don't hold when you imply that I want to read things like the Judaist would have.

It is true that I believe we should interpret the NT in light of the OT. I believe we should take the OT literally. I believe the 1st century Jews mishandled their Scriptures, just as many mishandle them today.

Now, if you want to come out and charge me with a certain fault, then I have no problem with that. If you want to say that you see my position as Judaist, and therefore it is unacceptable, we can certainly talk about that. That language is not pejorative. It's just your evaluation of my position. But to answer questions in which such charges are embedded is to answer a loaded question, and I have no interest in playing that game.

So when did you stop beating your wife? So what is the Judaist interpretation of . . .

It's all the same thing.

edit: And as much as Fortigurn and I disagree on many things, I agree with him that have to show a list of expositors that hold to all the preterist interpretations of the passages under discussion. Just showing one guy who interpreted one passage in a way that preterists do, and anther guy that interpreted another passage in the way that preterists do . . . that isn't preterism. By that argument, I can show dispensationalism in the first century.

Of course, I don't believe that dispensationalism was taught in the first century. I think I can find it's various principles there, but even if I couldn't, I wouldn't care less. I openly recognize that dispensationalism was systematized in the 18oo's and we are still refining it today. Likewise, unless you can show systematized preterism in the early church, then I have to say that Fortigurn has proven his case that the viewpoint was systematized in the 17th century.

Does that, for me, have any bearing on its truthfulness or lack thereof? Nope. But so far as this particular discussion goes, it just means that Fortigurn has proven his case.
Last edited by Jac3510 on Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#109

Post by Fortigurn » Sat Aug 11, 2007 5:40 pm

Jac3510 wrote:edit: And as much as Fortigurn and I disagree on many things, I agree with him that have to show a list of expositors that hold to all the preterist interpretations of the passages under discussion. Just showing one guy who interpreted one passage in a way that preterists do, and anther guy that interpreted another passage in the way that preterists do . . . that isn't preterism. By that argument, I can show dispensationalism in the first century.

Of course, I don't believe that dispensationalism was taught in the first century. I think I can find it's various principles there, but even if I couldn't, I wouldn't care less. I openly recognize that dispensationalism was systematized in the 18oo's and we are still refining it today. Likewise, unless you can show systematized preterism in the early church, then I have to say that Fortigurn has proven his case that the viewpoint was systematized in the 17th century.

Does that, for me, have any bearing on its truthfulness or lack thereof? Nope. But so far as this particular discussion goes, it just means that Fortigurn has proven his case.
Thank you Jac. This is precisely the reason why even the preteristarchive, largest Praeterist site on the Internet, with the best Praeterism has to offer, has had to acknoweldge they can't find Praeterism before the 17th century:
Today's contemporary "Partial Preterism" was primarily developed during the Reformation era in the hands of Calvin, Grotius and Hammond, though the Jesuit Alcazar is possibly the earliest to present a fully developed system.
And of course, if PL wants to claim that simply one Praeterist compatible interpretation here, and anther Praeterist compatible interpretation there constitutes actual Praeterism, then I can do that for Historicism very easily (as he knows), so he's no better off.

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#110

Post by ttoews » Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:45 pm

Jac, sorry for the wait....here is my response to your last post (the last 1/3 of your previous post still to come)
Jac3510 wrote:Now, my short answer to your concern is that the promised land in Gen. 15 certainly includes, but is much greater than, the promised land in Gen. 13 and Num. 34.
the promise in Gen 15 is merely a restatement (in more detail wrt the land) of the promise in Gen 13....there is no need to distinguish between the two. It is not as if God rethought the matter and decided that really he should have been more generous with Abraham and that He would fulfill the first promise to the Joshua bunch and fulfill the second promise to the millenium bunch. Further, your effort to distinguish between the two suffers from these two problems:
a) the Gen 15 promise is in the context of answering Abraham's question of how he could know that he would gain possesion of the land. God tells Abraham about the Israelite stay in Egypt and how God will bring them out and back to the land. It is in that context that God then gives the further (Gen 15) description so:
1) it is made in the context of the first promise....so it isn't a new one
2) it is made in the context of the exodus....so that it when it is fulfilled ...just like the Bible says
b) the Gen 15 promise says nothing about the possession of the land being forever...so I guess your position is that the Gen 13 is fulfilled (even though it called for eternal possession in your mind) and the Gen 15 promise, which never speaks of an everlasting possession of the land, is still unfulfilled .....if such is the case you have just recognized that the everlasting aspect of possession is conditional
Second, since there are clearly two different set of land boundaries given in Gen 13 and Gen 15, the promise of God in Ex 6 cannot refer to both unless it refers to the larger.
I don't see any boundaries spelled out in Gen 13....the promise of Gen 13 is restated in the promise of Gen 15
I have, however, pointed out that you can't cross into a land you are already in, and therefore, I don't see how we can see God's promise to Moses to be with reference to Gen 15.
not at all sure what you mean by "you can't cross into a land you are already in". I understand that you may believe that the "river/wadi of Egypt" in Gen 15 is the Nile. This is unlikely. The Nile is mentioned by name repeatedly in Gen and Exodus....so if it is the Nile, why isn't it called such? Further, the description of the "river/wadi of Egypt" contrasts with the description of "the great river, the Euphrates". What is the greater river, the Nile at its mouth, or the Euphrates at its headwaters? No, the wadi of Egypt is the brook of Egypt that shows up on your maps you nicely posted.
So . . . both Stephen and Moses were referring to the smaller land boundaries promised in Gen 13. Why should we not interpret the text that way, given all of the above?
b/c of the above
Further, the Ez 47 passage clearly promises to the Israelites land that, even to this day, they have never fully possessed, even though it is very similar to the land given during Joshua's lifetime. This passage, along with several others, serve to remind us that the Promised Land is still promised to Israel.
or they remind us of how limited and earthly these promises to the Israelites were in comparison to the promises we now have...
Of course not. It is exactly what it says. ALL the promises made to their forefathers were fulfilled. So we ask the question, “Which forefathers?”
we have no need to ask "which forefathers". It doesn't say that "all promises that were made to a certain group of your forefather were fulfilled"...one only asks this question in order to avoid a clear problem for dispensationalism
You simply assume it includes Abraham.
not at all, the promise to Abraham was repeated by Moses to the Israelites of that time...it is nonsense to suggest that the promise of Ex 6:8 was not included when it is declared that all promises were fulfilled in Jos 21:45 and Jos 23: 14
Yes, and what you are telling me is that there are passages that were meant to be taken figuratively that require NT revelation to let you know they were supposed to be literal.
I wouldn't say require...it is just easier with the NT revelation
If the land promises or Ezekiel's temple were to be understood figuratively, why not take all the Messianic prophecies figuratively?
b/c the bible tells us the messiah came....
Why not take prophecies concerning war or famine figuratively? And what about you and me and the NT? Maybe Jesus' Second Coming is figurative? How do we know that isn't the case?
this is as valid as wondering if we should understand everything Jesus said non-literally b/c he spoke in parables on occasion....you seem to think it must be an all or nothing thing....all literal or all figurative....just approach each text with an openess to either possibility with a strong inclination to what the rest of the bible would seem to require
Other than the text itself. Ezekiel is told to take pains to record the exact dimensions of the Temple. There is simply no indication that the text is figurative.
the text indicates that it is a vision....I sure wouldn't assume visions must or should be taken literally.
It certainly sounds nice and spiritual to talk about the Holy Spirit guiding us in understanding Scripture, but it has no concrete meaning. The problem with your hermeneutic is not that Ezekiel—in fact, the entire OT—becomes unintelligible.
the whole OT?....this is a ridiculous exageration...the fact of the matter is that the Jews did not understand many of the prophecies contained in the OT and for some reason you think it unfathomable that they would not have totally understood the Ezekiel passage concerning the temple in addition to all the other aspects of the OT that they did not grasp.
It is that it IS unintelligible. The simple fact is that God said there would be a temple, sacrifices, certain boundaries, etc. You want the Jew to look at God and say, “Now, you don't really mean that.”
no, I want the reader to read the whole Bible and understand it in its totality (not missing the forest for the trees....I note that this was my objection with respect to your soteriology as well). Sacrifices are second rate in light of the sacrifice of Christ himself. The presence of God in a temple seperated from his people by brick and curtain is second rate to the direct presence of God. So, I want the Jew to look at God and say, “Wow, you mean I get much, much more than I ever expected?" Remember, a reason for describing the temple was so that the people of Israel would be ashamed of their sins (43:19)....spiritualizing Ezekiel doesn't defeat that purpose at all. So, I also want the reader to look at God and say, “I have sinned."
You keep repeating the charge that in my eschatology the Ezekiel's temple passage would be unintelligible for the Jews for about 600 years (between the time of Ezekiel and the NT). Let me return the favour. In your eschatology the Ezekiel's temple passage is entirely irrelevant/useless for the Church (as we will never build a temple or make animal sacrifices)and is almost entirely irrelevant/useless for the Jews in that only that tribulation generation of Jews need to concern themselves with the dimensions of the temple that they will construct and the form of the sacrifices that they will make. As such, in your view, the Ezekiel passage is "useless" for a much larger group of believers and for a much greater time. That said, I don't think the Ezekiel passage is ever "useless', even for one such as you who interprets it incorrectly...as it can still serve the purpose of causing the people of Israel to become ashamed of their sins
Secondly, I've already pointed out that the fulfillment of Elijah's coming was not non-literal.
not to my satisfaction
Elijah came.
no, John came
The Jews understood that.
no they didn't...they were so confused they thought Jesus might be Jeremiah, Elijah, or some other resurrected prophet of old or even John the Baptist....but they understood Malachi to be saying that Elijah himself would come before the Messiah
What the Jews would not have understood was a “Temple” that was represented by the Gentile body (!).
nor could they understand that a "temple" meant Jesus's body w/o help
Yes, I believe the Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional. I see repeated “I will” statements by God and never once an “if you will.” Abraham could have turned his back on God, and that would not have changed the fact that God made the promise.
this sounds altogether too much like your soteriology...which I also reject.... It is beyond me how someone can read through the OT and NT and come to the conclusion that:
a) Abraham could have turned his back on God, and God would still be bound to fulfill his promise to Abraham; or
b) a person could utterly reject Jesus by word and deed, and God is still bound to save that individual if he once believed
In the end, you don't believe God will do what He said He would do. To “protect” His honor, you put words in His mouth He never uttered.
this is a misrepresentation so that you can continue with your accusation...I don't put words in God's mouth...I understand the words he uttered in a different fashion than do you.
You change the meaning of His promises so that you can say He will fulfill different promise than those He actually made.
no, I don't change the meaning....I see a different meaning than do you. One of us misunderstands the promise...but misunderstanding God is not equal to calling him a liar. It is like this:
a) Jac says God said he will literally do "A" and Jac believes that God will literally do "A", so Jac believes that God didn't lie.
b) ttoews says God said, figuratively, that he will do "A" (which doesn't mean that he will literally do "A") and ttoews believes that God will not do "A" but will do what is figuratively represented by "A", so ttoews believes that God didn't lie.
Come on Jac, this shouldn't be that hard to understand!
I'll need some more on's, 'cause I don't see any inconsistent applications of the literal hermeneutic so far.
I didn't think you would see any inconsistency....and it isn't in your hermeneutic...it is in what you designate as amounting to calling God a liar
You, by your own admission, believe certain OT prophecies are to be spiritualized and were incapable of being understood until Jesus came along to explain them.
incapable if one is wrongly married to a literal hermenuetic such as yours
I don't believe that is true. I believe we should take prophecies at their face value. Promises to Israel are promises to Israel. Temples are temples, land is land, and rivers are rivers,....
or is it that wadis are rivers?
.... unless the text itself gives us reason to assign them another meaning by the usage of figurative language.
again, it sounds like you are treating the passage in isolation....and should consider whether other passages can also speak to whether a passage should have a non-literal interpretation
Is this the only argument you have—that Elijah was not John the Baptist?
of course not...but it is a simple one with which to make a point or two
In light of the fact that the Jews recognized the figurative language? The prophecy was fulfilled literally, exactly as it was written.
and there is a point...."literal" takes on any meaning necessary to allow you to continue with the charade that yours is a truly literal approach...
He promised to send them Elijah. He sent them Elijah. I mean, seriously, is this all you have? Have you even read Malachi 4? It talks about the Day “burning like a furnace”; the evildoer is “stubble”; they will be “set on fire”; they are described by the terms “branch” and “root.” God says the wicked will be “ashes” under the Israelites feet. Then God says Elijah will come first. I mean, seriously ttoews . . .
nicely selective in your quotes of Malachi. Here's the last bit of Malachi 4:
"Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel. 5 "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."
so I guess that we should pause when we read these verses because if, in that context "Elijah" can mean "John the Baptist" then "law" might mean "promise", "Moses" might mean "David", "Horeb" might mean "Jericho", "Israel" might mean "Judah" etc....but, yeah, with that approach you really managed to keep the passage intelligible
:lol: :lol:
... do you REALLY think that any Jew of average intelligence would read that and not immediately recognize what God was saying?
I guess the disciples were really stupid b/c they were stuck on that literal interpretation after the transfiguration
As I've already pointed out in Matt 16:14, Jews were already taking it that way. Sheesh.
Malachi isn't mentioned in Matt 16...does Malachi say Jeremiah must come first? ....b/c Jeremiah is listed as a possible identity too...there is no indication in Matt 16 that the Jews understood that Malachi could be understood to mean anyone other than Elijah himself.
Wrong. They didn't identify John the Baptist as Elijah until Jesus pointed it out to them.
right...they understood Elijah to be Elijah and not someone else
In the same way, Jesus explained Scripture to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Haven't you ever been in church and the preacher or Sunday school teacher or whatever said something and an idea clicked?
yeah...when I heard about amillenialism ;)
You had a light-bulb moment? I'm sure you have. Does that mean Scripture was unintelligible before that? No. It just means you didn't make the connection.
yep, just like most of the Jews wrt Ezekiel...and then the NT came along so that the connection was easier to make....by George you seem to be catching on...now just make the connection yourself.
Now, this still proves my original point. The disciples didn't say that THEY thought Jesus was Elijah. They said that SOME PEOPLE thought that Jesus was Elijah. You know what that means, ttoews? That means they had understood the prophecy correctly. They had just identified the wrong person as Elijah.
actually they inquired about the need for Elijah to come first....you are stuck on Matt 16 when I am talking about Matt 17
You didn't answer my question. Show me ONE prophecy that is totally incapable of being understood without NT revelation.
I am not saying that Ezekiel is totally incapable of being understood without NT revelation...it just is better understood with NT revelation and some (and maybe even most) will misunderstand it w/o the help of NT revelation
You are dodging. Again, Ezekiel 40-48 explicitly says that there will be sacrifices in the Temple during Israel's future kingdom. Now, I take that literally. I'm not the one who has to spiritualize this text. I think God said exactly what He meant here.
well there is no mention of a millenium now is there? where is the reference to 1000 years?....those poor Jews would never have figured out that a 1000 year block of time was involved
Yes, the latter clarifies the former. The latter does not change the meaning of the former. The OT sets controls on NT interpretation. God said in Ez 40-48 that there will be sacrifices for the atonement of sin in the future kingdom. Your interpretation of the NT says that there will be no more sacrifices. You are the one creating the contradiction, not me.
No, my interpretation of the NT has the NT saying that animal sacrifices cannot not take away sins...cannot make perfect those who draw near for worship. In declaring such, Paul indicates that the animal sacrifices would have ceased if they could make perfect the believer by asking a rhetorical question. (At Hebrews 10:1-4)
My NT tells me that Christ's sacrifices can take away sins and can make perfect those who draw near to worship...so given Paul's rhetorical question and given that we are made perfect in Christ it would seem that animal sacrifices should cease with Christ's sacrifice and given his express statement that animal sacricfices can not take away sins it seems to me that you are arguing with Paul (and God) by insisting that animal sacrifices for the purpose of atonement will continue
Look at it this way, ttoews. The OT was written by . . . Jewish people. The NT was written by . . . Jewish people. And the NT Jewish authors, well they were using words and concepts they got from the OT. That means that THEIR writings came through a filter: the filter of the OT. And what filter did the OT writings come from? None. Notice, ttoews, that Malachi does not contradict or change the meaning of anything in Genesis. And yet, you want me to believe that the NT changes the meaning of OT revelation?
the only reason to distinguish between the OT and the NT is that Christ introduced the new covenant which is now in effect (the old having passed away)....and so the books written after that introduction are referred to as the New Testament (read Covenant). Such a thing as an OT filter is your invention. Each book of the Bible has always built on what preceeded....and we see fulfillment of a prophecy in a way which might not have been considered earlier. So when the OT speaks of an upcoming captivity it becomes clear that it won't be an everlasting continuous possession of the land b/c of what the Israelites have done and when the OT and the NT together speak of the introduction of a new covenant that causes the old covenant to pass away, it becomes clear that the old covenant with animal sacrifices has been inadequate and cannot achieve the forgiveness of sins...God and his people have moved onto the new covenant and you are stuck looking back to the old.
Now, against this, you have a double filter you are interpreting through, which actually creates something of a circular approach to interpretation. The NT was written using OT ideas, but it redefined those ideas so that the OT ideas have to be reinterpreted in the NT light. But that means the OT ideas that were the foundation for the NT no longer mean what they meant in order to convey this supposedly newer, better meaning.
again, consider reading the Bible as a whole as opposed to reading it in bits. Don't separate the OT from the NT....the same God is the ultimate author of both. God's meaning never changed...man's grasp of his meaning did.
Are you going to tell me that you don't believe we interpret the OT in light of the NT? Of course you won't, because that is exactly what you believe, yes? That is what amill is all about. You spiritualize texts that are otherwise contradictory with your understanding of the NT.
I would say that I properly spiritualize texts that are otherwise contradictory with the clear teaching of the NT....and it appears that you treasure a literal interpretation to such an extent that you disregard the achievements of Christ that introduced the new covenant so as to justify animal sacrifices for atonement
My point is simple. Rather than spiritualizing the OT, just understand the NT in a way that is consistent with clearly stated OT promises.
and my point is that you belittle the greater promises of the NT holding desparately to a wooden literal interpretation
Which is interpreting the Bible based on your theology. You have a preset view of things like the millennium and sacrifices. So you come to a passage like Ezekiel 40-48. It contradicts your theology, so instead of changing your theology, you change the meaning of the text.
It is ridiculous how you keep telling me how I arrived at a position when you don't know my history. I repeat....I was taught dispensationalism, read both the OT and NT, saw that dispensationalism was incapable of making sense, considered (among other things) how one could read both Hebrews and Ezekiel and make sense of it...and arrived at soemthing that made more sense than dispensationalism.
You CAN'T get amillennialism out of the OT alone.
so what? ....the question is whether it can be gotten out of the bible as a whole
I don't see anywhere that the disciples interpreted the OT in an amillennial light.
again, so what? Your limitations don't determine God's meaning....the disciples wrote the NT, and the reading of the NT and OT leads (for some) to amillenialism
They interpreted the OT in the plain, normal sense. So did the rest of the Jews. Again, they didn't miss their Messiah because of their eschatology.
right, they didn't miss their messiah b/c of the state of their eschatology or of their theology...rather it was b/c of the state of their heart
Now, again, if your interpretation of eschatology is right, then the Jews would have had no way at all to know who the Messiah was.
this is a good example of how our views differ....you think their ability to identify the Messiah is dependent on their ability to understand the OT....however, it is actually a matter that they resisted the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51), that they were not his sheep (John 10:25-27), that the Father did not reveal it to them (Matt 16: 17) etc.
There was no way to know what was literal and what was figurative. We say that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, that He was from the line of David, etc. We point to all sorts of fulfilled prophecies. But maybe those prophecies weren't literal. Maybe they were all figurative? Maybe the Messiah Himself was a figure—a spiritual truth?

There was just no way to know.
sure there is a way...it is called reading the Bible...it will tell you what was what....but you have to let it tell you, rather than insisting on a particular type of interpretation
All this comes down to a very simple point: you either believe that God will do what He said He would do and how He said He would do it in the OT, or you believe that God intentionally deceived the Jews.
I think deceive is too strong a word...it would be better to say that God spoke in a fashion that not all would understand....much like it is stated in Matt 13: 10-17:
10 The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" 11 He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: "'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#111

Post by puritan lad » Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:25 pm

Sorry for the delay, as I have had some heavy research to do in my response. Some other things have come up as well. Before I address preterist interpretaions of key passages in church history, let's first give Fortigurn his list of Non-chiliasts (Amillennialists, whatever: same thing) in the early church.

Clement of Rome

Ignatius

Polycarp

Tatian

Athenogoras

Theophilus

Clement of Alexandria

Origen

Dionysius

Epiphanes

Athanasius

Eusebius (who btw was a preterist, but more on that later)

Augustine

Eusebius blames Papias for the spread of premillennialism in the early church: “But it was due to him that so many [not “all” of “most”] of the Church Fathers after him adopted a like opinion, urging in their own support the antiquity of the man .“ The church, from Augustine until the later period of the Puritan Era, was almost exclusively A/Postmillennial.

Let us also consider that non-chiliasm is the only eschatological viewpoint expressed or implied in the historic creeds and confessions of the church. You may call this an argument from silence, but in this case, the silence is deafening. The Apostle's Creed has but one Second Advent, when "He shall come again to judge the living and the dead." Both the living and the dead will be judged at the same time, with no 1,000 year separation, and they will be judged at his Coming, not 1,000 years later. The same holds true in the Nicene Creed, despite the fact that chiliasm was at the height of its popularity during the third Century, at least until the past few centuries. The Nicene Creed states that Christ “shall come again with glory to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end." This would have been the ideal place to stick the 1,000 year reign, since you insist that it was clearly the majority view.

The Athanasian Creed is the clearest of all when it comes to a non-millennium. “He shall come again to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life eternal, and they who indeed have done evil into eternal fire.” What happened to the 1,000 years between his “coming” and the final judgment? The creed clearly tells us that the resurrection and the final judgment take place at His coming, not 1,000 or 1,007 years later.

There is absolutely no reason to believe that chiliasm was ever a dominant view in church history.
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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#112

Post by Fortigurn » Wed Aug 22, 2007 4:02 am

puritan lad wrote:Before I address preterist interpretaions of key passages in church history, let's first give Fortigurn his list of Non-chiliasts (Amillennialists, whatever: same thing) in the early church.
I asked specifically for a list of amillennialists or postmillenialists between the 1st and the 4th century. I did not ask for a list of 'non-chiliasts'. Furthermore, non-chiliasts, amillenialists, and postmillenialists are most certainly not the same thing.

I also see that you're using a particularly bizarre definition of 'premillenialist'. A premillenialist is someone who believes that Christ returns before the 1,000 years. An postmillenialist believes that Christ returns after the 1,000 years, and an amilenialist believes there isn't a 1,000 years in any case. This has nothing to do with when they believe the resurrection and judgment take place, though you can't get any traction with that either, because historical premillenialism has resurrection and judgment taking place at Christ's return. Each position is defined with regard to their understanding of the relationship of the 1,000 years to Christ's return.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
The fundamental idea of millenarianism, as understood by Christian writers, may be set forth as follows: At the end of time Christ will return in all His splendour to gather together the just, to annihilate hostile powers, and to found a glorious kingdom on earth for the enjoyment of the highest spiritual and material blessings; He Himself will reign as its king, and all the just, including the saints recalled to life, will participate in it. At the close of this kingdom the saints will enter heaven with Christ, while the wicked, who have also been resuscitated, will be condemned to eternal damnation. The duration of this glorious reign of Christ and His saints on earth, is frequently given as one thousand years. Hence it is commonly known as the "millennium", while the belief in the future realization of the kingdom is called "millenarianism" (or "chiliasm", from the Greek chilia, scil. ete).
From Wikipedia:
Premillennialism in Christian eschatology is the belief that Christ will literally reign on the earth for 1,000 years at his second coming. The doctrine is called premillennialism because it views the current age as prior to Christ's kingdom. It is distinct from the other forms of Christian eschatology such as amillennialism or postmillennialism, which view the millennial rule as either figurative and non-temporal, or as occurring prior to the second coming.
Emphasis mine. That is the doctrine of the millennium. The various positions (pre-, post-, a-), define how an individual understands the relationship of Christ's return to the millenium. What you have done here is exactly what you did earlier when challenged to provide a list of Praeterist Early Fathers. Just as you redefined 'Praeterism', so you are redefining 'Premillenialism'. The doctrine of premillenialism is the belief that Christ returns before the 1,000 years. Your list of Early Fathers has to be a list of men who did not believe that Christ would return before the 1,000 years.

So I am going to ask you to provide direct quotes from each of the men in your list, demonstrating that they did not believe that Christ would return before the 1,000 years. If you can't find that (and I'm sure you can, since at least Eusebius was an amillenialist or postmillenialist of some kind), then you could at least provide the quotes from each of them which convinced you that they are not premillenialists. You also need to identify which are post- or amillenialists.
Eusebius blames Papias for the spread of premillennialism in the early church: “But it was due to him that so many [not “all” of “most”] of the Church Fathers after him adopted a like opinion, urging in their own support the antiquity of the man .“
But of course, there's no evidence fort his.
The church, from Augustine until the later period of the Puritan Era, was almost exclusively A/Postmillennial.
Yes, from Augustine in the 5th century. A little late.
Let us also consider that non-chiliasm is the only eschatological viewpoint expressed or implied in the historic creeds and confessions of the church.
Er no, that's not true. In order for that to be true, the historic creeds and confessions would all have to contain explicit contradictions of millenialism. They don't.
You may call this an argument from silence, but in this case, the silence is deafening.
The only 'silence' is with regard to the specific details of the millenium. This silence is not significant in any way.
The Apostle's Creed has but one Second Advent, when "He shall come again to judge the living and the dead." Both the living and the dead will be judged at the same time, with no 1,000 year separation, and they will be judged at his Coming, not 1,000 years later. The same holds true in the Nicene Creed, despite the fact that chiliasm was at the height of its popularity during the third Century, at least until the past few centuries. The Nicene Creed states that Christ “shall come again with glory to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end."
I hate to break it to you, but the historic belief of premillenialists is that Christ will judge the living and the dead at his return, prior to the 1,000 years. What you've quoted from the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed is entirely in harmony with premillenial teaching.
The Athanasian Creed is the clearest of all when it comes to a non-millennium. “He shall come again to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life eternal, and they who indeed have done evil into eternal fire.” What happened to the 1,000 years between his “coming” and the final judgment? The creed clearly tells us that the resurrection and the final judgment take place at His coming, not 1,000 or 1,007 years later.
Same again. There is nothing 'non-millenial' about this. Christ comes to judge the living and the dead, which takes place immediately at his return. Standard premillenial teaching (see the quote from the Catholic Encyclopedia above).
There is absolutely no reason to believe that chiliasm was ever a dominant view in church history.
Except for all the quotes from those who believed it.

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#113

Post by puritan lad » Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:05 pm

Fortigurn wrote:
Eusebius blames Papias for the spread of premillennialism in the early church: “But it was due to him that so many [not “all” of “most”] of the Church Fathers after him adopted a like opinion, urging in their own support the antiquity of the man .“
But of course, there's no evidence fort his.
Evidence?? Uh. How about Eusebius?
Fortigurn wrote:[Yes, from Augustine in the 5th century. A little late.
And your objection is????
Fortigurn wrote:[Same again. There is nothing 'non-millenial' about this. Christ comes to judge the living and the dead, which takes place immediately at his return. Standard premillenial teaching.
Not true. Standard premillennial teaching requires 1,000 years between His coming and the final judgment. If there was a dominant belief in premillennialism, it certainly should have made it's way into at least one of the creeds.

Now we can examine some of the REAL beliefs of the church fathers and the millennium. You insist on quotes, but didn't give any in your healthy list. I'll save you the trouble.

Here is a must read link to re-examine many of your premillennial claims

http://www.thewordcc.net/id211.html

Here is a list and statements. Click on the name for the statement in its context. (I added some more of my own, and give you benefit of the doubt on a few of them)

You can find your own quotes from below. You certainly did not give any in your list, which you will see was quite presumptous

Papias (Premillennial, but not at all compatible with any modern endtimes teaching)

Aviricus Marcellus (Premillennial)

Tertullian (Premillennial, and a Montanist Heretic — not compatible with any modern endtimes teaching)

Clement of Alexandria (Speaks of a millennium, but very vague)

Hippolytus (Premillennial)

Cyprian (Premillennial)

Nepos (Premillennial)

Commodianus (Premillennial)

Lactantius (Premillennial)

Mathetes (Not Premillennial)

Hermas (Not Premillennial)

Clement of Rome (No evidence of Premillennialism, plenty of evidence for preterism prior to 70 AD)

Didache (Does not teach premillennialism)

Barnabas (Possible premillennialist, but shows quite a few inconsistencies)

Irenaeus (Possible Premillennialist)

Hegesippus (Amillennial)

Origen (Amillennial, and a universalist heretic)

Victorinus of Pettau (Amillennial)

Coracion (Amillennial)

Methodius (Speaks of the millennium, but contrary to premillennialist claims, he does so in symbolic terms)

Eusebius See Proof of the Gospel and other works (Amillennial, possibly postmillennial, and a preterist long before the 17th century, no earthly reign)

Athanasius (Called the Father of Postmillennialism. Still looking for detailed works. Definitely not premillennial)

Augustine City of God (Definitely Postmillennial, wrote that the 1,000 years was “the period beginning with Christ's first coming")

Dionysius of Alexandria (Amillennial)

Epiphanius (Amillennial, possibly postmillennial — no earthly reign)

Justin Martyr - (Premillennialist who wrote to Trypho that many Christians did not believe in the millennium. From the looks of this list, he was correct.)

Ignatius - No evidence of a millennium

Tatian - No evidence of a Millennium

Athenogoras - No Evidence of a Millennium

Theophilus believed that man would return to Eden Theophilus of Antioch, Ad Autolycum, II, 26 No millennium.


From above, I have 8 who are solidly premillennial, and 3 that are possible premillennialists. I have 10 solid Amillennialists, and several more who were not premillennialists. There are a few with no evidence either way (which most likely means amillennialism, but I won't count them).

If you disagree with this list (as it contradicts many of the name on your list), then please provide premillennial quote.

Again, there is no reason to believe that premillennialism was ever a dominant view in the early church. (In fact, the millennium was so controversial in the early church that the Canonicity of the Book of Revelation itself was hotly debated.)
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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#114

Post by Fortigurn » Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:57 pm

puritan lad wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:
Eusebius blames Papias for the spread of premillennialism in the early church: “But it was due to him that so many [not “all” of “most”] of the Church Fathers after him adopted a like opinion, urging in their own support the antiquity of the man .“
But of course, there's no evidence fort his.
Evidence?? Uh. How about Eusebius?
Sorry, but an unsubstantiated 4th century statement regarding a 2nd century person, without any supporting evidence whatever, is certainly unconvincing. Where are the references to previous premillenialists saying that they were influenced by Papias? Where is there any extant evidence to support Eusebius' unique claim? The most you would be able to say is that he influenced Irenaeus, who specifically affirms his belief in the literal Kingdom of God on earth of which Papias wrote.
Fortigurn wrote:[Yes, from Augustine in the 5th century. A little late.
And your objection is????
My objection is firstly that I asked you to confine yourself to the 1st to the 4th centuries, and secondly that the fact that postmillenialism became popular from the 5th century onwards proves it was not the dominant view of the church previously.
Not true. Standard premillennial teaching requires 1,000 years between His coming and the final judgment.
That's a different matter entirely to what you said before. You talked about standard premillenial teaching stating that resurrection and judgment do not take place at Christ's return, which is completely wrong, as I've pointed out. The fact that many premils believe in a second resurrection and judgment at the end of the 1,000 years doesn't change the fact that the standard premil teaching is that resurrection and judgment take place at Christ's return, so quoting views which say exactly that do not contradict premil.

As I've pointed out, all you've done is simply attempt to redefine what premil is, just as you attempted to redefine Praeterism. The various positions (pre-, post-, a-), define how an individual understands the relationship of Christ's return to the millenium. What you have done here is exactly what you did earlier when challenged to provide a list of Praeterist Early Fathers. Just as you redefined 'Praeterism', so you are redefining 'Premillenialism'. The doctrine of premillenialism is the belief that Christ returns before the 1,000 years. Your list of Early Fathers has to be a list of men who did not believe that Christ would return before the 1,000 years.
If there was a dominant belief in premillennialism, it certainly should have made it's way into at least one of the creeds.
I've already pointed out this is irrelevant and inaccurate. It's a non-sequitur. There are plenty of beliefs which were dominant which didn't find their way into the creeds.
Here is a must read link to re-examine many of your premillennial claims
Yes, that's where I thought you'd gone. The reason why I thought you'd gone there is not only because your list is the same as his, but also because you've adopted his redefinition of what premil actually is (a redefinition essential to his argument).

Here for example he makes a blatant attempt to cloud the issue:
If an early church father believed that the church = Israel then it would cast serious doubts on whether or not they were really premillennial in the modern doctrinal understanding.
So in other words, he's saying that he judges an ECF to be non-premil if they believed that the church is Israel. That's completely invalid. That is not the definition of a premil.

Let's go through the links:
Papias (Premillennial, but not at all compatible with any modern endtimes teaching)

Aviricus Marcellus (Premillennial)

Tertullian (Premillennial, and a Montanist Heretic — not compatible with any modern endtimes teaching)

Hippolytus (Premillennial)

Cyprian (Premillennial)

Nepos (Premillennial)

Commodianus (Premillennial)

Lactantius (Premillennial)

Justin Martyr - (Premillennialist who wrote to Trypho that many Christians did not believe in the millennium. From the looks of this list, he was correct.)
Wow, all premil so far! That's nine up to the 4th century. So from the 1st century to the 4th century (the era under question in my original challenge), he has found nine undisputed premils so far. Impressive!

By the way, I have twice corrected your misrepresentation of Martyr. He does not say that 'many Christians did not believe in the millennium'. On the contrary, he says that those who are right minded Christians do:
'I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare.'

Dialogue with Trypho, 80
What he says later is that many who are true Christians do not believe in certain details of what takes place during the millennium.

Now let's look at these:
Barnabas (Possible premillennialist, but shows quite a few inconsistencies)

Irenaeus (Possible Premillennialist)
Both of these men are indisputable premils. Here's Barnabas:
'The Sabbath is mentioned at the beginning of the creation thus: 'And God made in six days the works of His hands, and made an end on the seventh day, and rested on it, and sanctified it.' Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression, 'He finished in six days.' This implieth that the Lord will finish all things in six thousand years, for a day is with Him a thousand years. And He Himself testifieth, saying, 'Behold, to-day will be as a thousand years.' Therefore, my children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, all things will be finished. 'And He rested on the seventh day.' This meaneth: when His Son, coming again, shall destroy the time of the wicked man, and judge the ungodly, and change the sun, and the moon, and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the seventh day.'

The Epistle of Barnabas, 15
That's the 7,000 year plan right there. You can't deny that's standard premil. Schaff helpfully affirms this:
'Among the Apostolic Fathers Barnabas is the first and the only one who expressly teaches a pre-millennial reign of Christ on earth. He considers the Mosaic history of the creation a type of six ages of labor for the world, each lasting a thousand years, and of a millennium of rest, since with God 'one day is as a thousand years.' The millennial Sabbath on earth will be followed by an eight and eternal day in a new world, of which the Lord's Day (called by Barnabas 'the eighth day') is the type'.

Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 2 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, n.d.) 382
Now Irenaeus. First of all, you have to acknowledge that he believed in the 7,000 year plan, which is decidedly premil:
'For in as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded. And for this reason the Scripture says: 'Thus the heaven and the earth were finished, and all their adornment. And God brought to a conclusion upon the sixth day the works that He had made; and God rested upon the seventh day from all His works.' This is an account of the things formerly created, as also it is a prophecy of what is to come. For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years; and in six days created things were completed: it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand year.'

Against Heresies 5.28.3
Secondly he speaks explicitly of the Kingdom being literally on earth, taking place at the return of Christ, preceded by the resurrection and consisting of the reign of the saints, the restoration of the earth and the ruins of Israel:
'If, however, any shall endeavour to allegorize prophecies of this kind, they shall not be found consistent with themselves in all points, and shall be confuted by the teaching of the very expressions in question. For example: 'When the cities' of the Gentiles 'shall be desolate, so that they be not inhabited, and the houses so that there shall be no men in them and the land shall be left desolate.' 'For, behold,' says Isaiah, 'the day of the LORD cometh past remedy, full of fury and wrath, to lay waste the city of the earth, and to root sinners out of it.' And again he says, 'Let him be taken away, that he behold not the glory of God.' And when these things are done, he says, 'God will remove men far away, and those that are left shall multiply in the earth.' 'And they shall build houses, and shall inhabit them themselves: and plant vineyards, and eat of them themselves.'

For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just, which takes place after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule; in the times of which resurrection the righteous shall reign in the earth, waxing stronger by the sight of the Lord: and through Him they shall become accustomed to partake in the glory of God the Father, and shall enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings; and with respect to those whom the Lord shall find in the flesh, awaiting Him from heaven, and who have suffered tribulation, as well as escaped the hands of the Wicked one.'

Against Heresies, 5:35:1
Irenaeus is explicitly premil, in that he declares the return of Christ to PRE-cede the Kingdom (which he believes will be on earth). He also makes it clear that he holds the same belief as Papias:
'If, then, God promised him [Abraham] the inheritance of the land, yet he did not receive it during all the time of his sojourn there, it must be, that together with his seed, that is, those who fear God and believe in Him, he shall receive it at the resurrection of the just.'

'Thus, then, they who are of faith shall be blessed with faithful Abraham, and these are the children of Abraham. Now God made promise of the earth to Abraham and his seed; yet neither Abraham nor his seed, that is, those who are justified by faith, do now receive any inheritance in it; but they shall receive it at the resurrection of the just.'

Against Heresies, 5.32.2
The predicted blessing, therefore, belongs unquestionably to the times of the kingdom, when the righteous shall bear rule upon their rising from the dead; when also the creation, having been renovated and set free, shall fructify with an abundance of all kinds of food, from the dew of heaven, and from the fertility of the earth: as the elders who saw John, the disciple of the Lord, related that they had heard from him how the Lord used to teach in regard to these times, and say: The days will come, in which vines shall grow, each having ten thousand branches, and in each branch ten thousand twigs, and in each true twig ten thousand shoots, and in each one of the shoots ten thousand clusters, and on every one of the clusters ten thousand grapes, and every grape when pressed will give five and twenty metretes of wine. And when any one of the saints shall lay hold of a cluster, another shall cry out, "I am a better cluster, take me; bless the Lord through me." In like manner [the Lord declared] that a grain of wheat would produce ten thousand ears, and that every ear should have ten thousand grains, and every grain would yield ten pounds (quinque bilibres) of clear, pure, fine flour; and that all other fruit-bearing trees, and seeds and grass, would produce in similar proportions (secundum congruentiam iis consequentem); and that all animals feeding [only] on the productions of the earth, should [in those days] become peaceful and harmonious among each other, and be in perfect subjection to man.

And these things are borne witness to in writing by Papias, the hearer of John, and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book; for there were five books compiled (συντεταγμένα ) by him.

Against Heresies, 5.33.3-4
Isn't it interesting that he's making the same argument regarding Abraham that you've been opposing here? Isn't it interesting that the cite to which you appealed didn't make any mention of this part of what Irenaeus wrote, or that he explicitly agreed with Papias regarding the Kingdom? This is what you get when you don't do original research, and simply rely on copy/pastes from articles which have committed the fallacy of selective quoting.

So we add Barnabas and Irenaeus to the current list, and we now have eleven premils between the 1st and the 4th century. Let's continue:
Mathetes (Not Premillennial)
I'll agree that Mathetes is ambiguous, but not that he was either pre- or a-millennial. We just can't tell.
Hermas (Not Premillennial)
Actually Hermas just doens't give us a lot of information. He does however repeatedly speak of the Kingdom of God as future. Not only that, but he describes a vision in which he sees a tower being built (chapters II to X), which 'cannot be finished just yet, until the Lord of it come and examine the building' (chapter V), and the tower is identified as an allegory of the building of the church ('"This tower," he replied, "is the Church"', chapter XIII), the stones of which are judged when the master of the tower returns ('for all things around the tower must be cleaned, lest the Master come suddenly? and find the places about the tower dirty, and be displeased, and these stones be not returned for the building of the tower', chapter VII).
Clement of Rome (No evidence of Premillennialism, plenty of evidence for preterism prior to 70 AD)
Clement doesn't say anything one way or the other, so we can't say he's premil or amil. He does, however, say that the Kingdom of God is still in the future. And no, he doesn't provide 'plenty of evidence for preterism prior to 70 AD'. He wasn't even writing prior to 70 AD, he wrote afterwards.
Didache (Does not teach premillennialism)
It doesn't teach premillennialism insofar as it doesn't say anything about the 1,000 years. But I'll address the Didache separately.
Hegesippus (Amillennial)
Hegesippus very clearly states that the Kingdom is future. He doesn't give us enough informaiton to categorize him as pre-mil, but it's clear he believed the Kingdom was yet future. We can't classify him as anything speciifc.
Victorinus of Pettau (Amillennial)
Unfortunately you've been led astray by your source here, who isn't really familiar with Victorinus. It is a fact that Victorinus was actually premillenial, but his commentary on Revelation was later subjected to interpolations to make it appear otherwise:
17. Two resurrections, p. 359, ver. 5. Here our author, who is supposed to be the contemporary of St. Augustine, accepts his final judgment. But Victorinus was a Chiliast of the better sort, according to St. Jerome. This confirms the corruption of the mss. Indeed, if the Victorinus mentioned by Jerome be the same as our author, the mention of Genseric proves the subsequent interpolation of his works.
Source. The fact that Jerome himself said Victorinus was a Chiliast is conclusive.

I'm also able to claim Coracion, because he was premil, but changed his mind. Of course, you can have him too. The same goes for Augustine.
Methodius (Speaks of the millennium, but contrary to premillennialist claims, he does so in symbolic terms)
Sorry, Methodius is clearly premil, because he speaks of the return of Christ and the resurrection taking place before the millennium. He also makes it very clear that the millennial age is future, and involves the restoration of the earth:
'The creation, then, after being restored to a better and more seemly state, remains, rejoicing and exulting over the children of God at the resurrection; for whose sake it now groans and travails, waiting itself also for our redemption from the corruption of the body, that, when we have risen and shaken off the mortality of the flesh, according to that which is written, "Shake off the dust, and arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem," and have been set free from sin, it also shall be freed from corruption and be subject no longer to vanity, but to righteousness.'

Discourse on the Resurrection, Part I, chapter VIII
'For I also, taking my journey, and going forth from the Egypt of this life, came first to the resurrection, which is the true Feast of the Tabernacles, and there having set up my tabernacle, adorned with the fruits of virtue, on the first day of the resurrection, which is the day of judgment, celebrate with Christ the millennium of rest, which is called the seventh day, even the true Sabbath.'

Discourse on the Resurrection, Part I, chapter V
You can't get around the 'millennium of rest which is called the seventh day', that's the 7,000 year plan right there. Even the Catholics identify Methodius as premil:
'Egypt seems to have harboured adherents of millenarianism in still later times Methodius, Bishop of Olympus, one of the principal opponents of Origen at the beginning of the fourth century, upheld chiliasm in his Symposion (IX, 1, 5).'
Source.
Theophilus believed that man would return to Eden Theophilus of Antioch, Ad Autolycum, II, 26 No millennium.
Theophilus doesn't give us enough information to identify him specifically. He says nothing about the timing of the return of Christ.

Let's not forget the 4th century Aphrahat, who believed that the return of Christ was literal, was still future, that it was prophesied in the breaking of the image of Daniel 2, which Aphrahat interpreted as the future literal destruction of the world's kingdoms by Christ, who would establish the literal Kingdom of God on earth:
'This is the Kingdom of King Messiah, which is that which shall cause the fourth kingdom to pass away. And above he said:—Thou sawest a stone which was cut out, but not by hands; and it smote the image upon its feet of iron and potter's clay and broke them to pieces. Now he did not say that it smote upon the head of the image, nor on its breast and arms, nor yet on its belly and thighs, but on its feet; because that, of the whole image, that stone when it comes will find the feet alone. And in the next verse he said:—The iron and the brass and the silver and the gold were broken to pieces together. For after them, when King Messiah shall reign, then He will humble the fourth kingdom, and will break the whole image; for by the whole image the world is meant. Its head is Nebuchadnezzar; its breast and arms the King of Media and Persia; its belly and thighs the King of the Greeks; its legs and feet the kingdom of the children of Esau; the stone, which smote the image and broke it, and with which the whole earth was filled, is the kingdom of King Messiah, Who will bring to nought the kingdom of this world, and He will rule for ever and ever.'

Demonstration V, section 14
Christ's return PRE-cedes the Kingdom, standard premil here. And of course he believed that resurrection and judgment take place at the return of Christ, before the Kingdom is established:
And the Life-giver shall come, the Destroyer of Death, and shall bring to nought his power, from over the just and from over the wicked. And the dead shall arise with a mighty shout, and Death shall be emptied and stripped of all the captivity. And for judgment shall all the children of Adam be gathered together, and each shall go to the place prepared for him. The risen of the righteous shall go unto life, and the risen of the sinners shall be delivered unto death. The righteous who kept the commandment shall go, and shall not come nigh unto judgment in the day that they shall rise; as David asked, And bring not your servant into judgment; nor will their Lord terrify them in that day.

Demonstration XXII, section 15
Naturally Aphrahat understood the 'kingdom of heaven' as a reference to a literal kingdom on earth ('If He shall give them inheritance in the earth, it shall be called the kingdom of heaven', Demonstration XXII, section 24).

Oh and let's not forget Apollinaris:
'In the second half of the fourth century, these doctrines found their last defender in Apollinaris, Bishop of Laodicea and founder of Apollinarism (q.v.). His writings on this subject, have been lost; but St. Basil of Caesarea (Epist. CCLXIII, 4), Epiphanius (Haeres. LXX, 36) and Jerome (In Isai. XVIII) testify to his having been a chiliast. Jerome also adds that many Christians of that time shared the same beliefs; but after that millenarianism found no outspoken champion among the theologians of the Greek Church.'
Source. Isn't it interesting that ' Jerome also adds that many Christians of that time shared the same beliefs'?

And let's not forget Severus, who taught that the stone of Daniel 2 is Christ, whose future return will result in the future destruction of the kingdoms of men, and the future establishment of the Kingdom of God:
'But in the stone cut out without hands, which broke to pieces the gold, silver, brass, iron, and clay, there is a figure of Christ. For he, not born under human conditions (since he was born not of the will of man, but of the will of God), will reduce to nothing that world in which exist earthly kingdoms, and will establish another kingdom, incorruptible and everlasting, that is, the future world, which is prepared for the saints.'

Sacred History, Book 2, chapter 3
That's very clear, the return of Christ precedes the Kingdom of God. He doesn't specifically mention the 1,000 years, however, so I'll leave him out, even though Jerome says he was a Chiliast. I have plenty already, certainly more than enough to make my point.

So my list of premils between the 1st and the 4th century, as agreed by the very website you quoted, is:

* Papias
* Aviricus Marcellus
* Tertullian
* Hippolytus
* Cyprian
* Nepos
* Commodianus
* Lactantius
* Justin Martyr
* Augustine

That's ten. I have further proved the following were also premil:

* Barnabas
* Irenaeus
* Coracion
* Victorinus
* Methodius
* Aphrahat
* Appolinaris

That's another seven, bringing my total up to seventeen.

Here's your list of amillienialilsts between the 1st and the 4th century:

* Origen
* Coracion
* Dionysius of Alexandria
* Eusebius
* Athanasius
* Augustine
* Epiphanius

Note that I'm just giving you Athanasius for free, since I can certainly afford it. That's seven. And none of them before the 3rd century.

Ooops, I forgot Ambrosiaster:
Its teaching is entirely orthodox, with, perhaps, the sole exception of the author's belief in the millennium.
Source. That makes eighteen. Now which number is larger, seven, or eighteen?
(In fact, the millennium was so controversial in the early church that the Canonicity of the Book of Revelation itself was hotly debated.)
No the millennium was not controversial in the early church. What was controversial was Cerinthus' interpretation of the millennium. That is very clear from the writings of the Early Fathers. Even Augustine said that he would be perfectly happy with the premil doctrine without the carnal excesses attributed to it by some.

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#115

Post by puritan lad » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:02 am

I guess the title of this thread should have been a warning. Whoever gets the biggest list wins, correct?

You can take away Methodius and Victorinus from your list, and add at least Methodius to mine. He did not believe in a literal earthly reign of Christ. Add Jerome and Hegesippus to mine as well. I don't know where this will lead, as I doubt that either list is exhaustive yet.

You'll have to take several others off of your list and add them to the “we don't know” list. You cannot assume Premillennialism based on the 7,000 year theory. Many fathers made mention of a 1,000 year reign who did not believe it was earthly (Augustine). Premillennialism requires a 1,000 year reign on earth. Unless your fathers explicitly taught that, they cannot be assumed premill, and according to one of your own, Justin, many were not.
Clement doesn't say anything one way or the other, so we can't say he's premil or amil. He does, however, say that the Kingdom of God is still in the future. And no, he doesn't provide 'plenty of evidence for preterism prior to 70 AD'. He wasn't even writing prior to 70 AD, he wrote afterwards.
No. He clearly wrote before 70 AD and interpreted prophecy as a preterist would, thus supporting my defense of your First Preterist problem. He clearly had the Jewish sacrifices still going on in Jerusalem, and had Christ's imminent coming tied directly to the destruction of the Temple by the Romans.

"Not in every place, brethren, are the continual daily sacrifices offered, or the freewill offerings, or the sin offerings or the trespass offerings, but in Jerusalem alone. And even there the offering is not made in every place, but before the sanctuary in the court of the altar; and this too through the high-priest and the aforesaid ministers." (First Clement 41:2)
The fact that Jerome himself said Victorinus was a Chiliast is conclusive.
If I can't have Eusebius as a source, why should you have Jerome? If the works of Victorinus have been changed (as you claim), then how can we trust any of the church fathers? How do we know Jerome didn't misinterpret Victorinus?
Sorry, Methodius is clearly premil, because he speaks of the return of Christ and the resurrection taking place before the millennium. He also makes it very clear that the millennial age is future, and involves the restoration of the earth:
No. Methodius did not teach an earthly millennium, nor did he teach that the Second Advent would be prior to a millennium. (Classic postmills believe in a future millennium as well). Methodius taught that the millennium was spiritual. Premillennialism requires a 1,000 year earthly reign of Christ. This is something Methodius did not support.

You ignore Justin Martyr's own words concerning the non-dominance of millennial teachings. You reject Eusebius's claim about Papias (due to a lack of “evidence”), yet claim Jerome as an authority on Victorinus (in your words, “conclusive”, with the same amount of “evidence”). Most of the Premillennialism that did exist on the first few centuries is totally incompatible with any modern version. In their eyes, the ten toes and the antichrist were to be part of the Roman Empire, and that Christ would return to destroy that empire. Some did believe in a literal millennium after that, but they are about 1,500 years too late. Your use of patristics is quite selective, and in the end, proves nothing, even if you get the majority vote from the writings that we have.

Premillennialism requires that...

1.) The Second Advent occurs before the millennium
2.) The millennium is a literal 1,000 year reign on earth.

Based on that, you'll have a tough time proving that a majority of church fathers were ever premill. Statements about a future millennium or an adherence to the 7,000 year theory (obviously flawed from the outset) are insufficient. The burden of proof in on you to show this, or you may expect your list to shrink/

BTW: Why limit your patristics to the first four centuries? Why is the error-filled Ireneaus or the heretic Tertullian to be valued over Augustine?
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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#116

Post by JCSx2 » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:07 am

B. W. wrote:I say — Futurist.

There is too much not yet fulfilled and way too little we do understand :shock:
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ditto
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