early church end times

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JPH | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 10:36 AM

Blair Laird:
Is there any good book(s) someone could recommend that deal with the early church fathers teachings of the last days?

Not in logos, but the best overview I've read:

Daley, Brian E. The Hope of the Early Church: A Handbook of Patristic Eschatology. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Also the classic article by Hans Bietenhard, “The Millennial Hope in the Early Church,” Scottish Journal of Theology 6/1 (March 1953): 12-30.

Email me if you would like a copy of it (johnpatrickharrigan_at_gmail.c0m)

Posts 1680
Jerry M | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 12:30 PM

Blair Laird:
Any idea on good search strings for logos that I can use to show their post trib, premill positions?

Create a collection of just the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume I and Volume V.  Then select that collection in a Basic search.  Choose Surface Text (If you don't want hits on footnotes) and then use this search string.  The string needs refinement, but will get you started.

millennium OR antichrist OR kingdom NEAR beast OR "man of apostacy" OR advent OR coming NEAR judge OR tribulation NEAR saints OR consummation OR come NEAR deceive

"For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power"      Wiki Table of Contents

Posts 19233
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 12:37 PM

I found this book review in Themelios 19:3

Regnum Caelorum: Patterns of Future Hope in Early Christianity
Charles E. Hill
Oxford, 1992, 236 pp.

In spite of the vast range of literature dealing with the Early Church period, there are still a number of important subjects which have received only the most cursory and disjointed treatment in the past. The question of eschatology is a case in point, and this book, which began life as a doctoral thesis at Oxford, fills an important gap in our knowledge of the period.

It has long been recognized, of course, that mainstream Christian opinion in the earliest centuries of the church was chiliastic in its eschatology, taking literally the millennial reign of Christ mentioned in Revelation 20. It is also well known that this view was superseded and eventually virtually discredited by Augustine, who developed an articulate non-chiliastic view of the Christian future.

What is much less understood is the way in which this primitive chiliasm emerged and why its eventual demise should have been so complete. In this thesis, the author sets out to prove that Christian writers owed a major part of their inspiration to Jewish contemporaries, who in turn were motivated by the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. Tied up with their crisis eschatology was the belief that the souls of the departed spent the intervening period in a kind of limbo, and that they did not enjoy the fruits of Christ’s resurrection victory until the Day of Judgment. It is the author’s contention that this view is closely bound up with any form of chiliasm, which would virtually cease to exist without it.

He also points out that in spite of the widespread acceptance of chiliasm in the early church, there was always an alternative to this eschatology within the orthodox fold. This alternative focused on the fact that the Bible promises believers an immediate enjoyment of paradise, something which, in the case of the martyrs at least, popular Christian devotion would not surrender. The author demonstrates that this created a logical contradiction which contributed to the eventual overthrow of traditional chiliasm. If a believer enjoys the fruits of paradise immediately after death, there is very little point in picturing a thousand-year reign of the saints on earth, particularly as this was by definition a temporal, and not an eternal, state of bliss.

The thesis contains much detailed argument of different scholarly positions, and it is only to be expected that the views put forward here will provoke similar replies in due course. Nevertheless, the author has raised the profile of a much-neglected subject, and provided a study which will stimulate and inform all students of the period. In particular, there is an interesting chapter dealing with the relationship between the book of Revelation and chiliasm, which will be of much wider interest than the rest, not least because of the links which it makes with present-day American millenarianism.

Gerald Bray, Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, Alabama.

Gerald Bray, "Review of Regnum Caelorum: Patterns of Future Hope in Early Christianity by Charles E. Hill" In , in Themelios: Volume 19, No. 3, May 1994 (United Kingdom: The Gospel Coalition, 1994), 26.

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 8 2012 5:02 PM

Michael Childs:
Bruce, I would suggest the Ancient Christian Commentary on the Scripture, edited by Thomas Oden.

can anyone share what a.c.c has on the rapture scriptures?

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 8 2012 5:19 PM

1st Thes 4.17

To Meet the Lord in the Air

AS WITH CHRIST, SO FOR US. GREGORY OF NYSSA: For that which has taken place in Christ’s humanity is a common blessing on humanity generally. For we see in him the weight of the body, which naturally gravitates to earth, ascending through the air into the heavens. Therefore, we believe according to the words of the apostle, that we also “shall be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” Even so, when we hear that the true God and Father has become the God and Father of Christ, precisely as the firstfruits of the general resurrection, we no longer doubt that the same God has become our God and Father too. This is true inasmuch as we have learned that we shall come to the same place where Christ has entered for us as our forerunner. AGAINST EUNOMIUS 12.1.

CAUGHT UP IN THE CLOUDS. RUFINUS OF AQUILEIA: That the righteous shall ever abide with Christ our Lord, we have already demonstrated. This is where we have shown that the apostle says, “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” And do not marvel that the flesh of the saints is to be changed into such a glorious condition at the resurrection as to be caught up to meet God, suspended in the clouds and borne in the air. Indeed, the same apostle, setting forth the great things which God bestows on them that love him, says, “Who shall change our vile body that it may be made like his glorious body.” It is in no way absurd, then, if the bodies of the saints are said to be raised up in the air, seeing that they are said to be renewed after the image of Christ’s body, which is seated at God’s right hand. A COMMENTARY ON THE APOSTLES’ CREED 46.

THE LIVING AND THE DEAD. EPHREM THE SYRIAN: This Jesus that gathered and carried and brought with him of the fruit was longing for the Tree of Life to taste the fruit that quickens all. For him Rahab too was looking. For when the scarlet thread in type redeemed her from wrath, in type she tasted of the Truth. For him Elijah longed, and when he did not see him on earth, he, thoroughly cleansed through faith, mounted up to heaven to see him. Moses saw him and Elijah.50 The meek man from the depth ascended, the zealous from on high descended, and in the midst beheld the Son. They figured the mystery of his advent: Moses was a type of the dead, and Elijah a type of the living, that fly to meet him at his coming. For the dead that have tasted death, them he makes to be first: and the rest that are not buried, are at last caught up to meet him. HYMNS ON THE NATIVITY 1.


THE VENERABLE BEDE: By Moses and Elijah [at the transfiguration] we can rightly understand everyone who is going to reign with the Lord. By Moses, who died and was buried, [we can understand] those who at the judgment are going to be raised up from death. By Elijah, on the other hand, who has not yet paid the debt of death, [we can understand] those who are going to be found alive in the flesh at the Judge’s coming. At one and the same moment, both of them, having been caught up “in clouds to meet the Lord in the air,” will be led into eternal life, as soon as the judgment is brought to completion. HOMILIES ON THE GOSPELS 1.24.

THE GREAT RECEPTION. CHRYSOSTOM: If he is about to descend, on what account shall we be caught up? For the sake of honor. For when a king drives into a city, those who are in honor go out to meet him; but the condemned await the judge within. And upon the coming of an affectionate father, his children indeed, and those who are worthy to be his children, are taken out in a chariot, that they may see and kiss him; but the housekeepers who have offended him remain within. We are carried upon the chariot of our Father. For he received him up in the clouds, and “we shall be caught up in the clouds.” Do you see how great is the honor? And as he descends, we go forth to meet him, and, what is more blessed than all, so shall we be with him. HOMILIES ON 1 THESSALONIANS 8.

TRUE LIFE. CYRIL OF JERUSALEM: Now the life that is really and truly life is God the Father, the fount of life, who pours out his heavenly gifts upon all his creatures through the Son and in the Holy Spirit, and the blessings of eternal life are faithfully promised even to us men, through his love for us. There must be no incredulity about the possibility of that. For we ought to believe, because our minds should be set on his power, not on our feebleness. For anything is possible with God, and that our eternal life is both possible and to be looked forward to by us is shown when Daniel says, “the understanding … from among the many righteous shall shine as the stars for ever and ever.” And Paul says, “And so shall we be ever with the Lord.” For “being ever with the Lord” means the same thing as eternal life. CATECHETICAL LECTURES 18.29.

THE FINAL VISION. PSEUDO-DIONYSIUS: In a fashion beyond words, the simplicity of Jesus became something complex, the timeless took on the duration of the temporal, and, with neither change nor confusion of what constitutes him, he came into our human nature, he who totally transcends the natural order of the world…. And so it is that the Transcendent is clothed in the terms of being, with shape and form on things which have neither, and numerous symbols are employed to convey the varied attributes of what is an imageless and supranatural simplicity. But in time to come, when we are incorruptible and immortal, when we have come at last to the blessed inheritance of being like Christ, then, as Scripture says, “we shall always be with the Lord.” THE DIVINE NAMES 1.4.

2nd Thes 2.1


 The Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ

THE TIMING OF THE RESURRECTION UNKNOWN. CHRYSOSTOM: When the resurrection will be, he has not said: “It will come in due order”; he has said: “And our assembling to meet him.” This point is quite important. Observe how Paul’s exhortation is accompanied by praise and encouragement, for he makes it clear that Jesus and all the saints will certainly appear at that time with us. HOMILIES ON 2 THESSALONIANS 3.

A CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF TIME. ATHANASIUS: Now it is right and necessary, as in all divine Scripture, so here, faithfully to explain the time of which the apostle wrote, and the person and the point. This is so that the reader will not from ignorance miss either these or any similar particular and thus miss the true sense of the text. This was what the inquiring eunuch understood when he asked Philip, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet speak this? Of himself, or of someone else?” He feared lest, having explained the lesson unsuitably to the person, he should wander from the right sense. And the disciples, wishing to learn the time of what was predicted, implored the Lord: “Tell us,” they said, “when shall these things be? And what is the sign of your coming?”3 And again, hearing from the Savior the events of the end, they desired to learn the time of it, that they might be kept from error themselves. They also wished to be able to teach others, just as, when they had learned, they set right the Thessalonians, who were going wrong. When, then, one understands these points properly, knows properly these points, his understanding of the faith is right and healthy. But if he fails to understand, he immediately falls into heresy. Thus, Hymenaeus and Alexander and their followers5 were beside the time when they said that the resurrection had already taken place. The Galatians, too, were after the time in continuing to think circumcision was an important issue. DISCOURSES AGAINST THE ARIANS 1.54.7

THE BENEFIT OF NOT KNOWING. ATHANASIUS: And further, not to know when the end is, or when the day of the end will occur, is actually a good thing. If people knew the time of the end, they might begin to ignore the present time as they waited for the end days. They might well begin to argue that they should only focus on themselves. Therefore, God has also remained silent concerning the time of our death. If people knew the day of their death, they would immediately begin to neglect themselves for the greater part of their lifetime. The Word, then, has concealed both the end of all things and the time of our own death from us, for in the end of all is the end of each, and in the end of each the end of all is comprehended. This is so that, when things remain uncertain and always in prospect, we advance day by day as if summoned, reaching forward to the things before us and forgetting the things behind. … The Lord, then, knowing what is good for us beyond ourselves, thus stabilized the disciples in a correct understanding. They, being taught, set right those of Thessalonica, who were likely to err on the very same point. DISCOURSES AGAINST THE ARIANS 3.49-50.9

THE SAME CHRIST WILL COME. THEODORET OF CYR: To what has been said it must also be added that we must not affirm that after the ascension the Lord Christ is not Christ but only the begotten Son. The divine Gospels and the history of the Acts and the epistles of the apostle himself were, as we know, written after the ascension. It is after the ascension that the divine Paul exclaims “Seeing then that we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” … And again when writing to the same a second time, he says, “Now we beseech you, brothers, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.” LETTERS 146.

DISAGREEMENTS FROM THE BEGINNING. ORIGEN: At least, when the apostles were preaching and the eyewitnesses of Jesus were teaching his precepts, no minor dispute in the church took place among Jewish believers about those of the Gentiles who were converted to the faith; the question was whether they ought to keep the Jewish customs or if the burden of clean or unclean meats ought to be taken away so that it would not be a load upon those Gentiles who abandoned their traditional customs and believed in Jesus. Furthermore, in the epistles of Paul, who was contemporary with those who had seen Jesus, there are some statements to be found which concern certain disputes about the resurrection, and about the view that it had already occurred, and about the question whether the day of the Lord was already present or not. AGAINST CELSUS 3.11.

 

 

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 8 2012 5:21 PM

Blair Laird:

Michael Childs:
Bruce, I would suggest the Ancient Christian Commentary on the Scripture, edited by Thomas Oden.

can anyone share what a.c.c has on the rapture scriptures?

There's only one "rapture" scripture — 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18.  That's all !  From theological discussions, you would think there were many.

17 Deinde nos, qui vivimus, qui relinquimur, simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Christo in aëra, Vugate

Rapture < rapio, rapere, rapui, raptus.  to snatch, carry off

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 8 2012 6:26 PM

George Somsel:

There's only one "rapture" scripture — 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18.  That's all !  From theological discussions, you would think there were many.

17 Deinde nos, qui vivimus, qui relinquimur, simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Christo in aëra, Vugate

Rapture < rapio, rapere, rapui, raptus.  to snatch, carry off

1 Co 15:52-53, and Mt 24:31 seem to be clear cross references. Some even attempt to use 2 Thess 2:3.. I understand that the word rapture is only found in the vulgate.

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 8 2012 6:36 PM

DMB:
To Meet the Lord in the Air

Thnx

Posts 19233
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 9 2012 4:54 PM

Blair Laird:

George Somsel:

There's only one "rapture" scripture — 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18.  That's all !  From theological discussions, you would think there were many.

17 Deinde nos, qui vivimus, qui relinquimur, simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Christo in aëra, Vugate

Rapture < rapio, rapere, rapui, raptus.  to snatch, carry off

1 Co 15:52-53, and Mt 24:31 seem to be clear cross references. Some even attempt to use 2 Thess 2:3.. I understand that the word rapture is only found in the vulgate.

Some even attempt to use Mt 24:40, but the context (vv. 37-39) shows that is a reference to people being taken away to judgment, and those "left behind" are the righteous.

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 9 2012 5:08 PM

Rosie Perera:

1 Co 15:52-53, and Mt 24:31 seem to be clear cross references. Some even attempt to use 2 Thess 2:3.. I understand that the word rapture is only found in the vulgate.

Some even attempt to use Mt 24:40, but the context (vv. 37-39) shows that is a reference to people being taken away to judgment, and those "left behind" are the righteous.

The 1 Cor passage merely speaks of the resurrection and not about a "rapture."  2 Thess 2.3 doesn't deal with the subject at all but rather with "the lawless man" (I could mention a name here Wink).  I actually think Mt 24.31 comes closer to the idea of a rapture than some other passages (no, it says nothing about judgment)—it's really a fairly enigmatic passage.  I think the thrust of it is simply on being prepared.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 9 2012 6:05 PM

Blair Laird:
seem to be clear cross references.

I've been trying to identify the various means of using scripture to interpret scripture. My current working list is:

  • doublet (document theory)
  • harmony
  • deuterograph
  • type-anitype
  • prophecy-fulfilment
  • reference to event/person
  • quotation/allusion
  • shared word
  • shared image
  • shared concept
  • parallel position in rhetorical devices (concentric, chiasm, inclusion ...)
  • shared structure [Hannah's prayer/Magnificant is example]

I've seen the term "clear cross-reference" in resources but honestly am not sure of what they mean. Then there are proposed cross-references that I haven't found the relationship at all. What do you think of when you use the term "clear cross-reference"?

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 10 2012 7:46 AM

MJ. Smith:
What do you think of when you use the term "clear cross-reference"?

A "clear cross-reference" is (IMHO) an utterly subjective statement, usually based on theological, and/or world-view (AKA cultural) assumptions, that two passages carry roughly the same meaning.

 

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 10 2012 12:15 PM

Thanks Richard

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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