70-1070AD The Last Day-Millennium

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30-1000AD: VIDEO: The First Thousand Years of Christianity

70-1070AD Thousand Years, Millennium, Day of the Lord

70-1070 Satan imprisoned, Saints reign

70-1070AD "The Day"

The verses that follow show how "The Day" was eagerly anticipated throughout the period in which the New Testament was written, (30-70AD).  That is, throughout the 30-70AD period of the Apostles' generation, "The Day" was expected to begin very soon.  It is concluded, then, that "The Day" immediately follows the 30-70AD period of Last Days Tribulation in which the New Testament was written.  Understanding 2 Peter 3:8 to signify that "a day with the Lord is as a thousand years [with men] and a thousand years as a day" this "Day of the Lord" period is understood to be a thousand year period that begins around the time the Apostles disappearred, around 70AD and extends forward a thousand years (as men count them). So "The Day" is then placed in the 70-1070AD position in the Last Day timeline.  See also: 30-70AD: The Apostles expected Christ to Return in their lifetimes

Romans 13:12
The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand.

Revelation 22:16
"I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star."

In Revelation 22:16, Jesus refers to Himself as "the bright morning star.' In popular knowledge the morning star is that last, great light of the night that comes out to shine just before the Sun itself arrives and the DAY finally dawns. Jesus is calling Himself that last, great Prophet who precedes the arrival of God the Father Himself.

Matthew 7:22
"Many will say to Me on that DAY, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'

Matthew 10:15
"Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the DAY of judgment, than for that city.

Matthew 11:22
"Nevertheless I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the DAY of judgment, than for you.

Matthew 11:24
"Nevertheless I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the DAY of judgment, than for you."

Matthew 12:36
"And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the DAY of judgment.

Matthew 24:36
"But of that DAY and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

Matthew 26:29
"But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that DAY when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."

Mark 13:32
"But of that DAY or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

Mark 14:25
"Truly I say to you, I shall never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that DAY when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."

Luke 10:12
"I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that DAY for Sodom, than for that city.

Luke 17:24
"For just as the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His DAY.

Luke 17:31
"On that DAY, let not the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house go down to take them away; and likewise let not the one who is in the field turn back.

Luke 21:34
"Be on guard, that your hearts may not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that DAY come on you suddenly like a trap;

John 6:39
"And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last DAY.

John 6:40
"For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last DAY."

John 6:44
"No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last DAY.

John 6:54
"He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last DAY.

* John 8:56
"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My DAY, and he saw it and was glad."

John 11:24
Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last DAY."

John 12:48
"He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last DAY.

Acts 2:20
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the great and glorious DAY of the Lord shall come.

Acts 17:31
because He has fixed a DAY in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

Romans 2:5
But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the DAY of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

Romans 2:16
on the DAY when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 1:8
who shall also confirm you to the end, blameless in the DAY of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:13
each man's work will become evident; for the DAY will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.

1 Corinthians 5:5
I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the DAY of the Lord Jesus.

2 Corinthians 1:14
just as you also partially did understand us, that we are your reason to be proud as you also are ours, in the DAY of our Lord Jesus.

Ephesians 4:30
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the DAY of redemption.

Philippians 1:6
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the DAY of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:10
so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the DAY of Christ;

Philippians 2:16
holding fast the word of life, so that in the DAY of Christ I may have cause to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.

2 Timothy 1:12
For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that DAY.

2 Timothy 1:18
the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that DAY — and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus.

2 Timothy 4:8
in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that DAY; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Hebrews 10:25
not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the DAY drawing near.

1 Peter 2:12
Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the DAY of visitation.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the DAY of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the DAY should overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of DAY. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the DAY, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

2 Thessalonians 1:10
when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that DAY, and to be marveled at among all who have believed — for our testimony to you was believed.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the DAY of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for IT will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8 And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

Luke 12:35-40
"Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps alight. 36 "And be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. 37 "Blessed are those slaves whom the master shall find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. 38 "Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. 39 "And be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 40 "You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect."

Psalms 90:4
For a THOUSAND YEARS in Thy sight are like yesterDAY when it passes by, or as a watch in the NIGHT.

Romans 13:12-13
The NIGHT is almost gone, and the DAY is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave properly as in the DAY, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.

2 Peter 2:9 and 2 Peter 3:2-18
the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the DAY of judgment, ... remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles. 3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the DAY of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one DAY is as a THOUSAND YEARS, and a THOUSAND YEARS as one DAY. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the DAY of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the DAY of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the DAY of eternity. Amen.

Revelation 20:1-8
And I foresaw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I foresaw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...

1 John 4:17
By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the DAY of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

Jude 6
And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great DAY.

Revelation 6:17
for the great DAY of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?"

Revelation 16:14
for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great DAY of God, the Almighty.

Revelation 18:8
"For this reason in one DAY her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.

See also: 30-70AD: The Apostles expected Christ to Return in their lifetimes

70-1070AD SATAN bound, cast & sealed into the Deep (Abyss, Bottomless Pit) for 1000 Years, Rev 20:1-3

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70-1070AD "The Last Day": Christ Returns, His Servants Raised to Reign

BROWN = Before the Nero-Beast-Tribulation, during the time of the Gospels

RED = During the Nero-Beast-Tribulation, just prior to the Lord's 70AD Return

BLUE = After the Nero-Beast-Tribulation, just after the Lord's 70AD Return

Matt 25:14-30

For the kingdom of heaven is] as a man traveling into a far country, [who] called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made [them] other five talents. And likewise he that [had received] two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. AFTER A LONG TIME THE LORD OF THOSE SERVANTS COMETH, AND RECKONETH [JUDGETH] WITH THEM. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: THOU HAST BEEN FAITHFUL OVER A FEW THINGS, I WILL MAKE THEE [REIGN] RULER OVER MANY THINGS: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; THOU HAST BEEN FAITHFUL OVER A FEW THINGS, I WILL MAKE THEE [REIGN] RULER OVER MANY THINGS: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. ...

OBSERVATION:

Notice how THE SERVANTS ARE NOT MADE RULERS OVER MANY THINGS UNTIL AFTER THEIR LORD RETURNS.

Now WHEN DOES PRETERISM SAY THAT THE LORD RETURNED? 70AD, NO?

So then, WHEN WERE CHRIST'S DISCIPLES MADE RULERS WITH CHRIST? NOT UNTIL AFTER THEIR LORD RETURNED IN 70AD.

Let's look at similar parable:

Luke 19:11-19 (circa AD 30, just before entering Jerusalem on colt, ~ 1 week prior to the Crucifixion)

11 And while they were listening to these things, He went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. 12 He said therefore, "A certain nobleman went to a distant country TO RECEIVE A KINGDOM FOR HIMSELF, and THEN RETURN. 13 "And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas, and said to them, 'Do business with this UNTIL I COME BACK.' 14 "But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us.' 15 "And it came about that WHEN HE RETURNED, AFTER RECEIVING HIS KINGDOM, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him in order that he might know what business they had done. 16 "And the first appeared, saying, 'Master, your mina has made ten minas more.' 17 "And he said to him, 'Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, BE IN AUTHORITY OVER TEN CITIES.' 18 "And the second came, saying, 'Your mina, master, has made five minas.' 19 "And he said to him also, 'And you are to BE OVER FIVE CITIES.'
NASB

LESSON:

You don't get a kingdom without a king, and you don't reign with Christ 'til Christ Returns with His Kingdom to reign.

See how this all fits in with Rev 20:1-10's mentioning of Christ's faithful being made rulers at the beginning of "Thousand Years"

Revelation 20:4-6 (penned circa 62-65AD at beginning of Tribulation to encourage rejection of the Beast & his mark)
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the Beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will [future to 62AD] be priests of God and of Christ and will [future to 62AD] reign with Him for a thousand years.

We see here in the vision Jesus gave that those who had been beheaded for the Gospel's sake and martyred for having refused to worship the Beast (Nero) or his image, refused to receive the Beast's (Nero's) mark upon their foreheads or hands, were to be brought to life (John 6:54) and made rulers (Mat 25:19-23 and Luke 19:12-19) at Christ's 70AD Return on "The Last Day" of the Old Covenant system. Christ's 70AD Return marks the resurrection of those who hath eternal life (John 6:54) and the beginning of His reign with faithful servants (Mat 25:19-23 and Luke 19:12-19). "The Last Day" of the Old Testament system at 70AD was the first day of the New Testament reign, the first day of the 1st Resurrection, the first day of Rev 20:1-10's "Thousand Years."

John 6:54 (circa 28AD)

Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, HATH ETERNAL LIFE; AND I WILL RAISE HIM UP AT THE LAST DAY. ~Jesus

Notice how those who "hath (present tense) eternal life" were to be "raised up (resurrected) at the Last Day" ?

"Finally the final authority is Jesus Christ Himself. It is His words that we can not add to concerning the fulfillment of all these things." ~preteristartist

Again, WHEN DOES PRETERISM CALCULATE "THE LAST DAY" TO HAVE BEEN? 70AD, RIGHT?

Be honest with yourself, now.

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And this is love, that we walk after Christ's commandments. ~2 John 6

70-1070AD Blessed & Holy Ones resurrected at start of Last Day, Rest of Dead resurrected at its end

Since the 30-70AD age is likened to the 40-year Exodus,
the 70-1070AD Millennium is likened to the age of Possessing the Promised Land during Joshua, Judges & Kings.


Beginning with the Lord's Return around 70AD:

John 6:39-40, John 6:44, John 6:53-54 ~preached around 29AD by Jesus Christ
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the Last Day.
40 And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the Last Day.
44 No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the Last Day.
53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the Last Day.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 ~penned around 51AD by Christ's Apostle Paul to the Christians at Thessalonica
For the Lord himself shall [future, after 51AD] descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the Dead in Christ shall [future, after 51AD] RISE FIRST:

Revelation 20:4-6
And I foresaw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they LIVED and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (But THE REST OF THE DEAD lived not again until the thousand years were finished). This is the FIRST RESURRECTION. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the FIRST RESURRECTION: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

2 Peter 3:8
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that ONE DAY IS WITH THE LORD AS A THOUSAND YEARS, and a thousand years as one day.

The Dead in Christ = the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands.
The Rest of the Dead = the souls of everyone else who had died.

Christ raised up first HIS MARTYRS from the Nero-Beast Tribulation (the Dead in Christ) at the start of the Last Day.
And THE REST OF THE DEAD were raised up at the end of the Last Day to their sentence of Judgment.

70-1070AD "1000 Years", New Heavens, New Earth & New Jerusalem began at Old Jerusalem's end

Or we could say it this way:
New Heavens, New Earth & New Jerusalem did NOT Begin AFTER "The 1,000 Years " Millennium Ends.
"The 1,000 Years" is simply the first thousand years of the New Heavens, New Earth & New Jerusalem.
And these all began at Christ's Return, marked in history by the destruction of Old Covenant Jerusalem in 70AD.
MC and MB are two different persons within two different internet communities, (one gated, one not). But they both approach the matter much the same way. Notice how this approach openly contradicts itself, bringing self-refutation:
"Even though chapter 20
comes after chapter 18, Revelation 20 is a
recapitulation of this same event. It is not to be
looked at in a chronological time frame!
"
~MC, May 30

"But, heaven and earth would be
destroyed at the end of the millennium according to
Revelation 21:1f. This for me places the time of
Babylon's judgment at the end of the millennium." ~MC, June 26
Let's look at Rev 21:1 "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."
MC misses: there is nothing here to indicate that Rev 21:1 happens AFTER the 1,000 year Millennium ends; nothing except that Rev 21 comes after Rev 20.
"I dont think that Revelation 20 is sequential " ~MB, June 3
"...The New Jerusalem comes after the 1000 years. ..." ~MB, June 5
Evidently, both MC and MB, are thrown off by the (uninspired) insertion of chapter&verse demarcations into John's Revelation and so they conclude that Revelation 21 describes things that are sequential to Revelation 20: that is, they conclude that New Heavens, Earth & Jerusalem's beginning is sequential to the 1,000 year Millennium's ending.
Its this very mental blockage, I believe, that holds back a few preterist Christians from a credible handling of the brief passage mentioning the 1,000 year Millennium.
All one really has to do is forget about the chapter&verse markings between Rev 18 and 22 to find that:
EACH "AND I SAW ..." FOLLOWING THE FALL OF BABYLON (Rev 18:2) NARRATES YET ANOTHER MINI-VISION DETAILING MORE DIRECT CONSEQUENCES OF BABYLON'S FALL
Its listing the reasons for all the rejoicing in Heaven over Babylon's Fall (Rev 19:1-2...). The 1,000 year Millennium found only in Rev 20:1-10 is simply one immediate consequence among many of Babylon's Fall -each of which having their beginning with Babylon's End. This is why preterist Christians get so excited over Old Covenant Jerusalem's 70ad destruction:
Bablyon's Ending was the the Beginning of all those blessings envisioned thereafter, each introduced with John saying, "I SAW..."
Rev 20:1-10's events, Millennium of 1,000 years etc, is just one such blessing listed. All the other "I saw" descriptive mini-visions also begin at Babylon's 70ad Fall, including the appearance of the New Heavens, New Earth & New Jerusalem, (regardless of what one understands about Rev 20:1-10).
At Bablyon's Fall circa 70ad, each of these events have their beginning:
*Babylon's judgment and plagues, losses of merchandising, etc., ~Rev 18: 1-24
*Rejoicing in Heaven over Babylon's Fall, Marriage Supper of the Lamb ~Rev 19:1-9
*Jesus & the Saints begin their conquest & judgment of the nations ~Rev 19:11-16
*Fowls invited to eat the carcasses of the slain armies ~Rev 19:17-18
*The Beast & False Prophet conquered, then cast into Lake of Fire; fowls eating the flesh of their armies ~Rev 19:20-21
*The Devil bound & cast into the abyss below for 1,000 years, (beneath everyone's feet - Romans 16:20) ~Rev 20:1-3
*1,000 years begin, Resurrection of saintly martyrs who resisted Beast during Tribulation, 1st of 2 resurrections mentioned ~Rev 20:4-6
.....[Details also given about events occuring at the END of the 1,000 years ~Rev 20:7-10]
.....[......a) Resurrection of "the rest of the dead," ie, of everyone but the saintly martyrs who resisted the Beast during the Tribulation]
.....[......b) Satan's brief release and subsequent judgment into the Lake of Fire where the Beast & False Prophet had been cast]
*Commencement of Great White Throne Judgement ~Rev 20:11-15
*Arrival of New Heavens & New Earth ~Rev 21:1
*Arrival of New Jerusalem ~Rev 21:2-Rev 22:5
The Text of Revelation itself suggests that the 1,000 years follow the Fall of Babylon - listed among the list of direct consequences thereof and as one of Heaven's various reasons for rejoicing over Babylon's Fall. It has been shown by many capable commentators that Revelation's "Babylon" = Old Covenant Jerusalem. Presently popular attempts, (among some preterists), to stuff the "The Tribulation"+ "The 1,000 Years"+"The Little Season of Satan's Release" into the 30-70A.D. timeframe preceeding Babylon's Fall will never work alongside the preterist insistence that "time statements" be taken seriously, (not to mention "expectation statements"). This awkward attempt only serves to undercut preterist credibility, leaving us all exposed to the rightful charge of hypocrisy regarding our interpretation principles that deduce the Lord's Accomplished Return in the first place.
BONUS:
I cannot get away from Hebrews 12:22-24 and Hebrews 12:28's description of The Heavenly Jerusalem, (presumably equal to the New Jerusalem), as a reality being received at the time of Hebrews pre-70AD publication date. At any rate, the New Jerusalem's arrival is associated with the beginning of "The Day of the Lord" aka "The 1,000 Years." The New Jerusalem's arrival is also associated with old Jerusalem/Babylon's departure or "Fall." And old Jerusalem/Babylon's Fall is associated with the beginning of "The 1,000 Years" aka "The Day of the Lord," as well. Therefore, the New Jerusalem was arriving as the old Jerusalem was departing as 70A.D. approached, all this as "The Day of the Lord" period of history began.

70-1070AD Twenty-five Answers about "The Millennium" = "The 1,000 Years" = "The Day of the Lord"

The wording of my responses are intended to show that if anyone takes the "1000 years" to be any span of actual time at all, he must -by his own logic- also give place to my view that defines that span of time as an actual 1000 years of human history. (It seems easy enough to demonstrate the unreasonableness of the "1000 years" referring to a single instant since the period during which Satan is imprisioned in the Abyss while the Saints Reign: it must encompass some worthy span of actual time to have any meaning whatsoever, to have been worth so long a wait to arrive). I continue to find it attractive to entertain the idea that the "1000 years," like the rest of Rev 18-22, is directly associated with the Fall of Babylon aka Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Consequently, the "1000 Years" have their beginning circa Babylon/Jerusalem’s A.D. 70 Fall as do all the other events that Revelation 18-22 envisions appearing. If 2 Peter 3:8 can be taken to hint that "The Day of the Lord" = "The 1,000 Years" of Rev 20, then it is understood that "The 1000 years" is the amount of of actual amount of time "The Day of the Lord" encompasses.
 
2 Peter 3:8
8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that
with the Lord one day is as a thousand years , and a thousand years as one day.
NASB
 
2 Peter 3:8
8 But do not let this one hint get by you, my friend, that
"The Day of the Lord" = "The 1,000 Years," and 1,000 years span "The Day."
 
.
2 Peter 3:8
8 But do not let this one clue get by you, buddy, that:
“With the Lord: '1 Day' = 1000 years, 1000 years = '1 Day.'”
 
 
1. The millennium is a literal 1,000 years. True or False?
 
2. The millennium represents a defined period of time of literal numerical value. True or False?
 
3. The millennium begins at Jerusalem’s fall in 70 A.D., hence at Christ’s A.D. 70 return? True or False?
 
4. The millennium begins after the marriage supper of the lamb, i.e. after the wedding and continues for 1,000 years. True or False?
 
5. The millennium begins when the tribulation ends and continues for 1000 literal years. True or False?
 
6. Satan is cast into the lake of fire, before or at the arrival of the New Heavens and Earth. True or False?
 
7. Satan is cast into the lake of fire after the arrival of the New Heavens and Earth. True or False?
.
8. The little season follows the 1,000 years binding of Satan. True or False?
 
9. The little season ends when Satan is cast into the lake of fire. True or False?
 
10. Revelation describes events shortly to “come to pass,” True or False?
 
11. The Law and the Prophets were fulfilled in 70 A.D. True or False?
 
12. The Law and the Prophets are yet being fulfilled after A.D. 70 up to the present or some post 70 (Destruction of Jerusalem) time frame. True or False?
 
13. Death and Hades are destroyed when the Law is fulfilled. True or False?
 
14. Death and Hades are destroyed when they are cast into the lake of fire?
 
15. The destruction of Satan is prophesied in the law and the prophets. True or False?
 
16. The vindication or avenging of the “beheaded” martyrs is fulfilled in 70 A.D. True or False?
 
17. The saints live, become kings and priests, at or after before 70 A.D., True or False?
 
18. The New Jerusalem arrives before the millennium of 1,000 years. True or False?
 
19. The New Jerusalem arrives after the millennium of 1,000 years. True or False?
 
20. The 2nd resurrection occurs after the millennium of 1,000 years?
 
21. The 2nd resurrection is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. True or False?
 
22. The reigning of the martyrs of Revelation 6:9,10 and Rev. 20 are the fulfillment of the law and the prophets? True or False?
 
23. The second resurrection is yet future. True or False?
 
 
24. The second resurrection is past. True or False?
 
 
25. Finally, can you send me a quick list of everything you view as literal in Revelation 20:1-3?
 
CONCLUSION:
I challenge anyone interested in Covenant Eschatology, (aka Full Preterism, Hyper-Preterism, TransmillennialismTM, 30-70AD Millennium), to answer these 25 Questions about the Millennium as forthrightly and thoroughly and consistenly done here. Its become more obvious than ever to me that Covenant Eschatology (30-70AD Millennium) “cherry picks” those things it wants to see as figurative or “literal,” right down to the time statements like Rev 4:1’s “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things” described and foretold in Rev 1-3. And after much critical argumentation over "time Texts" to deduce that Jesus came back around 70AD, 30-70AD Millennialism insists upon its figurative and questionably short version of the long anticipated “The 1,000 Years” reign with Christ of the Resurrected Saints of Revelation 20:4-6 : thereby forfeiting whatever credibility borrowed from Historical Preterism. The reality of it all is, the Covenant Eschatology (Full Preterism, 30-70AD Millennium) carefully cherry picks the application of just about every one of its own Bible interpretation principles. Its needs to in order to survive, it's own internal inconsistencies drive it to consume itself, its followers biting and devouring one another as some succumb to its innate attaction to Universalism and others struggle them to resist.

Matt 15:13-14 "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." NIV
 
 
2 Peter 3:8
8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years , and a thousand years as one day.
NASB
 
2 Peter 3:8
8 But do not let this one hint get by you, my friend, that "The Day of the Lord" = "The 1,000 Years," and 1,000 years span "The Day."
 
 

70-1070AD Twenty-five Questions About The Millennium

1. The millennium is a literal 1,000 years. True or False?
2. The millennium represents a defined period of time of literal numerical value. True or False?
3. The millennium begins after Jerusalem’s fall in 70 A.D., hence after Christ’s A.D. 70 return? True or False?
4. The millennium begins after the marriage supper of the lamb, i.e. after the wedding and continues for 1,000 years. True or False?
5. The millennium begins after the tribulation ends and continues for 1000 literal years. True or False.
6. Satan is cast into the lake of fire, before or at the arrival of the New Heavens and Earth. True or False.
7. Satan is cast into the lake of fire after the arrival of the New Heavens and Earth. True or False.
8. The little season follows the 1,000 years binding of Satan. True or False.
9. The little season ends before Satan is cast into the lake of fire. True or False.
10. Revelation describes events shortly to “come to pass,” True or False.
11. The Law and the Prophets were fulfilled in 70 A.D. True or False.
12. The Law and the Prophets are yet being fulfilled after A.D. 70 up to the present or some post 70 (Destr. Of Jer) time frame. True or False.
13. Death and Hades are destroyed when the Law is fulfilled. True or False?
14. Death and Hades are destroyed when they are cast into the lake of fire? True of False?
15. The destruction of Satan is prophesied in the law and the prophets. True or False?
16. The vindication or avenging of the “beheaded” martyrs is fulfilled in 70 A.D. True or False?
17. The saints live, become kings and priests, at or after before 70 A.D., True or False.
18. The New Jerusalem arrives before the millennium of 1,000 years. True or False.
19. The New Jerusalem arrives after the millennium of 1,000 years. True or False.
20. The 2nd resurrection occurs after the millennium of 1,000 years.
21. The 2nd resurrection is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. True or False.
22. The reigning of the martyrs of Revelation 6:9,10 and Rev. 20 are the fulfillment of the law and the prophets? True or False?
23. The second resurrection is yet future. True or False?
24. The second resurrection is past. True or False?
25. Finally, can you list of everything you view as literal in Revelation 20:1-3?

70-1070AD Day of Judgment = 1 Day with Lord = 1000 Years = Day of the Lord = Day of God -- 2 Peter 3:2-14

2 Peter 3:2-14 ~ (written around 63AD, about the same time as Revelation, when those first Christians wondered at its meaning)
You should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles. 3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? ... the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for THE DAY OF JUDGMENT and destruction of ungodly men.

8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that WITH THE LORD ONE DAY IS AS A THOUSAND YEARS, AND A THOUSAND YEARS AS ONE DAY. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But THE DAY OF THE LORD will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of THE DAY OF GOD, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation;
NASB

DAY OF JUDGMENT = 1 DAY WITH THE LORD = 1000 YEARS = 1 DAY = DAY OF THE LORD = DAY OF GOD

Revelation 20:1-10
And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.

7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
NASB


The problem I see here is that non-preterist folk are so consentrated on the 1000 year time frame that they miss a simple phrase that put this verse in a symbolic frame work. "as is" is not to be taken literal.
It's a comparison showing God's patience.
Not that he's literally going to hang around for 1000 years for his final judgement.
If the 1000 in Revelations is to be taken literal and the starting piont is A.D.70, then the final judgement, (or 3rd appearing), has already happened.
This make no sense whatsoever.


I strongly recommend Parousia: The New Testament Doctrine of Our Lord's Second Coming by J. Stuart Russell

Russell visits virtually every Bible passage dealing with the Lord's Second Coming; many, many of which refer directly to the long anticipated "Day of the Lord" / "Day of God" / "Day of Judgment" / "The Last Day" / "The Lord's Day."

I also recommend one consider again the article here: J.S. Russells Position on the Millennium, the Neglected Third Way of Preterism

70-1070AD Last Day-MILLENNIUM = Middle Age(s) = Sabbath Day of the Lord = the Last Day

THIS VIEW IS BEING RECONSIDERED IN THE LIGHT OF EQUATING
"THE DAY OF THE LORD" WITH "THE 1,000 YEARS" OF REV 20:1-10
AS 2 PETER 3:8 SEEMS TO HINT TOWARD.
I PLAN TO UPDATE SOME OF ITS WORDING.
I am not completely satisfied with my efforts here and post this in the hope of cajoling along further study by others more qualified. However, this remains the most attractive approach to me concerning Revelation 20:1-10's "1,000 Years." While seriously entertaining the view of my Covenant Eschatology/Modern Preterist critics, it dawned upon me afresh the idea that Revelation 20:1-10's "1,000 Years" may be just another way of saying "The Day of the Lord" per 2 Peter 3:8 and Ps 90:4. And that those very same verses suggest with equal force that "The Day of the Lord" is an actual 1,000 years of human history. Which brings me right back to consider the approach below. Does not all eschatology ultimately revolve about "The Day of the Lord" ? ~jwr
I continue to find it attractive to entertain the idea that "The 1,000 Years," like the rest of Rev 18-22, is directly associated with the Fall of Babylon aka Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Consequently, "The 1,000 Years" have their beginning circa Babylon/Jerusalem’s A.D. 70 Fall alongside all the other events that Revelation 18-22 envision. If 2 Peter 3:8 can be taken to hint that "The Day of the Lord" = "The 1,000 Years" of Rev 20, then it also is taken to mean that "The 1,000 Years" is the amount of of actual time "The Day of the Lord" encompasses.
2 Peter 3:8
8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years , and a thousand years as one day.
NASB
This can also be expressed in this wise:
But do not let this one hint get by you, my friend, that "The Day of the Lord" = "The 1,000 Years," and a 1,000 years span the "Day."
.
The book of Revelation is regarded as series of visions. In the passages following The Fall of Babylon the Great, each "THEN I SAW" and "THEN I HEARD" is a mini-vision describing a DIRECT CONSEQUENCE OF BABYLON'S FALL, ie. the destruction of ancient, Old Covenant Jerusalem in 70ad. These are the reason why there is so much celebration & rejoicing over Babylon's Fall.
.
Revelation 18:1-2-3 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2 With a mighty voice he shouted:
"Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! " ... [the immediate consequences of Babylon's Fall are hereafter described]
.
Revelation 18:4-24 "Then I heard ..."[more immediate consequences of Babylon's Fall described from another perspective...]
.
Revelation 19:1-10 "After this I heard ... " [still more immediate consequences of Babylon's Fall described from still another view point...]
.
Revelation 19:11-21 "I saw ..."[yet more immediate consequences of Babylon's Fall are described...]
.
Revelation 20:1-10 [and once again, more of the consequential aftermath of the Fall of Babylon is detailed below.... The Millennium = The first 1,000 years of the New Heavens & New Earth which are described in greater detail in yet more "And I saw" mini-visions hereafter...]
20:1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
.
4 I saw [consequences of Babylon's Fall] thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge.
.
And I saw [consequences of Babylon's Fall]the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. 7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth — Gog and Magog — to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, The City He loves [i.e.-the hitherto described New Jerusalem]. BUT FIRE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN AND DEVOURED them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
.
Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw [consequences of Babylon's Fall]a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
.
12 And I saw [consequences of Babylon's Fall]the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 4 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
.
Revelation 21:1-3 - Rev. 22:5 Now I saw [consequences of Babylon's Fall]a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
.
2 Then I, John, saw [consequences of Babylon's Fall]the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. ...
NKJV



OBSERVATIONS

1) The Text of Revelation itself makes abundantly obvious that the 1,000 years follow the Fall of Babylon - described as being one of its direct consequences. If we cannot be shown to grasp such straightforward communication as that, then we needlessly forfeit much credibility on any other timing issue, including that of the Lord's Return. It has been shown by many capable commentators that Revelation's "Babylon" = Old Covenant Jerusalem. Presently popular attempts, (among some preterists), to stuff the 1,000+ years that follow the Fall of Babylon (aka ancient Jerusalem) into the 40 years that precede it will never work alongside the preterist insistence that "time statements" be taken seriously, (not to mention the "expectation statements" and faithfulness to the actual Text). This awkward attempt only serves to undercut preterist credibility, leaving us all exposed to the rightful charge of hypocrisy regarding our stance about "time statements."
.
2) Someone might say, "I think the 1,000 years are just a metaphor." Regardless of whether one considers the 1,000 years as a metaphor or not, it follows the destruction of Jerusalem, being a divinely ordained direct consequence thereof. Would one dare to dismiss the prophecies regarding the life & death of Jesus Christ as "just a metaphor?" What of the prophecies regarding the ministry of John the Baptist? Did not God deliver fulfillments that entered the history books? Fulfillments that men could handle and know? Fulfillments that impacted the lives of earthbound men, being witnessed by them? Whatever metaphors are employed in Revelation, they have impact of historic proportions, recognisable in history itself. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." They shall at least see God's hand in history.
Someone else may suggest, "We need to look at the millennium from a heavenly rather than an earthly perspective." Perhaps, but why not do both? Who says we can only view things from one side? Since these words were delivered by our Heavenly Father to us living upon the Earth, and that He has come and made his dwelling among men, these words will definitely have components that are detectable by earthbound men, as well. And if we demand these fulfillments be seen from God's perspective, remember again, He has made His home in and among us: "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men!" (Rev 21:3). We are the Temple of God. He dwells within us. He looks out there through our eyes, albeit, with perfect understanding. But that is an understanding He wishes us to attain. "Be ye perfect therefore, ... "
Another may rush over my words here and then twist, exaggerate, and misunderstand saying, "I don't think Revelation 20 is sequential." The same will go on to assert that the New Heavens, New Earth, & New Jerusalem appear AFTER the 1,000 years are ended. Why should anyone bother to lift a typing finger to refute him? He contradicts himself.
Let us not be such individuals that selectively -and thereby erroneously- apply Bible interpretation techniques in order to dodge the weight of Biblical meaning & message, or to preserve brownie-points with seemingly well-regarded men, whoever they are -God alone really knows. Rather, let us humble ourselves before each fellow Christian, ready of mind to possibly learn something, learn something from the Word of God, from Christ our Teacher. We all have some things to share because the Holy Spirit works through each of us as He wills, and for the same reason we all have some things to learn. But no man but Jesus Christ has it all.
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3) The above two points firmly stand whether or not what follows is valued. It was this very subject that drew me to the preterist view to begin with: If one is to go fishing into the deep, dark waters of distant history for anything remotely resembling prophecy fulfillment, it seems reasonable to begin looking for a big fish such as a 1,000 year period characterized by Christian rule. I was drawn to investigate the possibility that the 1,000 years might be equated with what historians commonly refer to as the 1,000 years of the Middle Age during which today's major world powers were discipled, Christianized.
.

It was engaging to discover how violently out of control and dark things got in the, (by comparison to what they just had enjoyed), "Dark Ages" that followed the Middle Ages and preceeded the Reformation/Rennaissance (French, "Rebirth"), Age of Discovery of the New World, and the dawn of Modern Science and Modern times. Then I read in St. Augustine's City of God (circa ~425ad) and Eusebius' Church History (circa ~325ad) and Phillip Schaff's (a preterist) History of the Christian Church and find that: during the Middle Ages most Christians believed that they were living during of the Millenium (this is one reason why they also believed that saintly martyrs were being resurrected and attaining delegated powers over Creation from the reigning Christ). They antipated that all hell would break loose again at the end of their Millenium which was to end, according to their calculations, at 1000AD. Had they acquired the fortitude of faith to recognise the full prophetic ramifications of Jerusalem's 70AD destruction coupled with Jesus' insistent teaching to His generation that "this generation shall not pass away till all these things are fulfilled", (Mat 24:34), they would have adjusted their calculations to expect the end of their era to end around 1070AD rather than 1000AD.

Continued at History following the 70-1070AD Middle Age http://prophecyhistory.com/?q=node/160.

*Feel FREE to claim as your own anything I write - while I retain the right to do the same the same with it.*

70-1070AD J.S. Russell's Position on the Millennium, the Neglected Third Way of Preterism

By Duncan McKenzie, Ph.D. (Duncan@peoplepc.com)

Links: Duncan McKenzie Study Archive | Duncan McKenzie: The Covenant Judgments of Revelation | The Antichrist Chronicles: vol. II | J.S. Russell's Position on the Millennium, the Neglected Third Way of Preterism | A New Preterist Perspective | Was All The Prophecy in the Bible Fulfilled by A.D.70? | Revelation: The Book of Fulfillment of the Covenant Curses of Leviticus and Deuteronomy | Babylon in Not Jerusalem | Premillennial Preterism | The Serious Error of the Literal Hermeneutic in the Interpretation of the Book of Revelation | A Preterist Book on the Antichrist is Coming | Revelation Chapter 12

The position of James Stuart Russell offers a third option that is different from full preterism and traditional partial preterism. Russell’s position is essentially like the full preterist position (i.e. the one and only Second Coming, the judgment and the resurrection happened at AD 70, the resurrection having an ongoing fulfillment since AD 70. Russell’s position sees us as currently in the new heaven and earth, a symbol of the post AD 70 new covenant order). Where Russell position is different from full preterism is that it does not hold that all Bible prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70. Full preterism can be traced back to the 1970’s and Max King. It was a fundamental shift away from Russell’s position that has never been adequately discussed; in fact it is rarely even mentioned. Russell saw the millennium as beginning at AD 70 not ending at that time as full preterism necessitates. I believe that Russell was right and a wrong turn took place with the advent of full preterism. I say this because of my study of Daniel 7; I believe it lends support to Russell’s position.

It should be noted that in Russell’s system there will be a future end to evil at the end of the millennium (Rev. 20:7-10). In my mind this is an improvement over full preterist paradigm which sees evil as existing into eternity (in men’s hearts). Also Russell’s position does not necessitate the hypothesis of two millenniums. There is much more to be said. I will be saying it in my forthcoming book, The Antichrist and the Second Coming. (800 pages double spaced, see contents below).

The Antichrist and the Second Coming

A Preterist Examination
Duncan McKenzie, Ph. D.
Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Coming of the Kingdom of God (Daniel 2)
  3. The Little Horn of the Daniel’s Fourth Beast (Daniel 7)
  4. The King of the North and the Time of the End (Daniel 11:36-12:13)
  5. The Day of the Lord
  6. The Man of Lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2)
  7. Introduction to the Book of Revelation
  8. The Beast and the False Prophet (Revelation 13)
  9. The Beast and the Harlot (Revelation 17)
  10. The Beast and the Fall of Babylon (Revelation 18)
  11. The Second Coming (Revelation 19)
  12. The Millennium and New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 20-22)
  13. Where Are We Now?
Appendix A: Why I disagree with the Full Preterist Paradigm

A question that relates to the sequence of the millennium in Revelation is that of the temporal relationship of the judgment committed to those who come alive for the millennium in Revelation 20:4 (And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them…”) and the judgment in Revelation 20:11-15 (Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it…and the dead were judged, vv 11-12). I refer to these two visions of thrones and judgment in Revelation 20:4 and 20:11-15 as the throne scene judgments of Revelation 20. At first glance the sequence appears clear; the setting up of thrones and judgment in Revelation 20:4 happens at the beginning of the millennium and the setting up of the great white throne and judgment in Revelation 20:11-15 happens at the end of the millennium. There is another theory on the sequence of Revelation 20:4 and 11-15, however, that is rarely discussed in the literature on Revelation; i it was proposed by James Stuart Russell. Russell’s position is that what is being shown in Revelation 20 is not two separate throne scenes and judgments (one in Rev. 20:4 and one in 20:11-15) separated by the millennium, but one throne scene and judgment (composed of Revelation 20:4 and 11-15) with a digression of what will happen at the end of the millennium (Revelation 20:7-10) in between. Russell’s position is that John begins describing a throne scene judgment at the beginning of the millennium in Revelation 20:4. At 20:7-10 John digresses about what would happen at the end of the millennium, and then at 20:11 he takes up again the subject of the throne scene judgment he started in 20:4. Russell thus saw the description of the throne scene and judgment that is begun in Revelation 20:4 as being continued in Revelation 20:11. The two sections (Rev. 20:4 and 11-15) are thus describing one throne scene judgment (which happens at the beginning of the millennium) not two throne scene judgments (one at the beginning of the millennium and one at its end). Russell wrote the following on this.

…we must consider the passage which treats of (sic) the thousand years, from ver. 5 to ver. 10, as an intercalation or parenthesis. The Seer, having begun to relate the judgment of the dragon, passes in ver. 7 out of the apocalyptic limits to conclude what he had to say respecting the final punishment of ‘the old serpent,” and the fate that awaited him at the close of a lengthened period called ‘a thousand years.’ This we believe to be the sole instance in the whole book of an excursion into distant futurity; and we are disposed to regard the whole parenthesis as relating to matters still future and unfulfilled. The broken continuity of the narration is joined again at ver. 11, where the seer resumes the account of what…had been interrupted by the digression respecting the thousand years, taking up the thread which was dropped at the close of ver. 4.ii
What Russell is saying is that John begins to relate a throne scene judgment in Revelation 20:4 (And I saw thrones and they sat on them…). In verses 7-10 John digresses and talks about what will happen to Satan at the end of the millennium (“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison…” v. 7). At verse 11 the description of the throne scene that was begun in verse 4 is continued (“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it…).

If Russell’s position is correct (which I believe it is) then the one throne scene and judgment described in Revelation 20:4 and 20:11-15 is as follows.

Rev. 20:4 And I saw thrones and they sat on them and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witnesses to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years

(Parenthesis of 7-10 of what happens at the end of the millennium)

Rev. 20:11-15 Then I saw a great throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

If Russell’s position is correct then the picture that emerges is that of the saints of verse 4 (composed of either dead believers or symbolically all believers, living and dead) joining in with God in judging the unbelieving dead in verse 11. If this is true then verse 4 (“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them…”) is referring to the same judgment that verses 11-12 are (“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it…and the dead were judged”). It should be noted that Scripture supports this interpretation of Revelation 20:4, 11-15 and its picture of the saints joining with God in the judgment.

Matthew 19:28 Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

1 Corinthians 6:2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

Initially I rejected Russell idea (that Revelation 20:4 and 11-15 were describing one judgment that happened at the beginning of the millennium) as being interesting but unlikely. What finally convinced me that Russell was right, was comparing what is clearly one throne scene and judgment at the beginning of the saints possessing the kingdom in Daniel 7:9-10 (which is when thrones are put in place) with Revelation 20:4 and 11-12. In Daniel 7 there is only one throne scene judgment shown; it is at the beginning of the saints possessing the kingdom, the beginning of the millennium, and it contains the elements of both Revelation 20:4 and 11 (as Russell’s position would predict). This is consistent with the proposition that Rev. 20:4 and 11 are showing one throne scene judgment that happens at the beginning of the millennium. Consider the following comparison of these scriptures. I am using the New Revised Standard Version here and have added the letters A-E for points of comparison. I have also added to Daniel 7 the corresponding verses in Revelation 20 in parentheses.

Dan. 7:9-11 NRSV
As I watched, [A] thrones were set in place (Rev. 20:4) and [B] an Ancient One took his throne (Rev. 20:11), his clothing was white as snow and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames and its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and flowed out from his presence. [C] A thousand thousands served him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him (Rev. 20:12). [D] The court sat in judgment (Rev. 20:4) and the [E] books were opened (Rev. 20:12). I watched then because of the noise of the arrogant words that the horn was speaking. And as I watched, the beast was put to death, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. emphasis added
Rev. 20:4 NRSV
Then [A] I saw thrones, and [D] those seated on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. emphasis added
(Parenthesis of 7-10 of what happens at the end of the millennium)
Rev. 20:11-12
Then I saw [B] a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw [C] the dead, great and small standing before the throne, and [E] books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. emphasis added

Notice that it is only by combining the elements of both Revelation 20:4 and 11-12 that one gets all five of the elements of the one throne scene of Daniel 7:9-10.

Daniel 7:9-10 Revelation 20:4, 11-12

[A]
7: 9. As I watched, thrones were set in place
20:4 I saw thrones

[B]
7:9 an Ancient One took his throne, his clothing white as snow.
20:11 I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it.

[C]
7:10 A thousand thousands served him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him.
20:12 I saw the dead, great and standing before the throne.

[D]
7:10 The court sat in judgment
20:4 those seated on them [the thrones] were given authority to judge

[E]
7:10 books were opened
20:12 books were opened

Daniel 7:9-10 lends strong support for Russell’s idea that Revelation 20:4 and 20:11-12 is one throne scene and judgment (at the beginning of the millennium) not two judgments (separated by the millennium).iii Note that the NRSV makes element C look different in Daniel and Revelation; the NRSV makes it sound like the ones before the throne are attending the One on the throne. If you look at the NKJV and NASB, however, they give the impression that there are two groups before the throne, those attending God and those there for judgment (“thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; the court sat, and the books were opened.” Dan. 7:10 NASB). If the NASB and NKJV give the correct sense (which I believe they do) then the myriads before the throne in Daniel 7:10 correspond to the dead before the throne in Revelation 20:12, both groups are facing the judgment. If none of those before the throne in Daniel 7:10 are facing judgment, then who is? It would be very strange indeed to show a judgment with no one to be judged.

After examining Daniel 7:9-11, I came to the conclusion that Russell was right; the throne scene and judgment begun in Revelation 20:4 is then continued in Revelation 20:11. Revelation 20 is showing what Paul said would happen at the Second Coming (1 Cor. 6:2); the saints in verse 4 are partnering with God as He judges the world in verses 11-15. Notice how Daniel first saw thrones and then he saw the Ancient of Days take His throne, Dan. 7:9 (“As I watched, thrones were set in place {A} and an Ancient One took his throne” {B}). This is exactly what one gets when one connects Revelation 20:4 with 20:11 (4. “And I saw thrones and they sat on them {A}…11. Then I saw a great throne and Him who sat on it” {B}).

Again, what led me to accept Russell's solution that Rev. 20:4 and 20:11-15 are really describing one throne scene (with the parenthetical statement of what ultimately happens to Satan at the end of the millennium in vv. 7-10) is that it is only in by combining both Rev. 20:4 and 11-12 that you get all five of elements that are found in the one throne scene (which happens at the beginning of the kingdom reign) in Dan. 7:9-11. Daniel’s vision of this throne scene shows the elements of Revelation 20:4 (thrones set up with those sitting on them given the authority to judge) as happening at the same time that elements of Revelation 20:11-12 happen (God takes His throne, myriads are before the throne and the books are opened). This judgment was to happen at the beginning of the saints possessing the kingdom, the AD 70 beginning of the millennium. The millennium began right afterthe defeat of Antichrist (the little horn/individual beast, Dan. 7:9-11, 21-22; Rev. 19:20-20:4); this was the time of the AD 70 Second Coming not AD 30.

Revelation 20:4 and 11-12 are talking about one throne scene and judgment explains the judgment that is committed to those on the thrones in verse 4, the meaning of which is unintelligible if verses 4 and 11-15 aren’t connected. Aune, commenting on this problem, said the following on Revelation 20:4-6, “nothing remotely connected with [krima] ‘judgment’ is found in the narrative; i.e., the right to judge given to those enthroned is apparently not exercised within this pericope.” iv brackets mine Aune further wrote that Rev. 20:4 “looks like the beginning of a judgment scene that is fragmentary, for the judgment itself does not occur (i.e., [krima], ‘judgment’ has no real function in this textual unit)”v brackets mine. This last point is very important; it is strong evidence against the possibility that John was deliberating splitting of the judgment in Daniel 7:9-10 into two separate judgments (not that I have ever seen anyone make this argument). If John were deliberately splitting the throne judgment of Daniel 7 into two judgments, one would think he would have done a more coherent job. That is, the judgment that the saints on thrones in Revelation 20:4 participate in does not make sense if it is not connected to the throne judgment of Revelation 20:11-12. It thus see no indication that John was separating the judgment of Daniel 7 into two judgments (separated by the millennium) in Revelation 20. In Daniel 7:9 thrones are put in place (cf. Rev. 20:4) at the same time that the Ancient of Days is seated (cf. Rev. 20:11).

Some try to escape this problem of the judgment that never happens in Revelation 20:4 by saying that judgment committed to those on the thrones means that they rule, not that they are involved in a judgment. Mounce noted, however, that although the OT term for “to judge” (Heb. mishphat) has connotations of both judging and ruling, the Greek word for “to judge” (krima) does not carry such a range of meaning (he cites Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker “as showing no such meaning for [krima]”)vi Again, my position is that the judgment of Revelation 20:4 is not fragmentary; the judgment John begins to describe at the beginning of the millennium in Revelation 20:4 is continued in 20:11. Thus Revelation (like Daniel) is showing one judgment at the beginning of the saints possessing the kingdom (the millennium, Dan. 7:26-27), not two judgments (one at the beginning of the millennium and one at the end).

That Revelation 20:4 and 11-15 are describing one throne scene judgment at the beginning of the millennium (not one at the beginning and one at the end) explains why there is no Second Coming shown at the end of the millennium in Rev. 20:7-10 (which is a fatal problem for postmillennialists). Both full preterists and most traditional partial preterists are post-millennialists. Full preterists say that the Second Coming happened in AD 70 at the end of the millennium. Most traditional partial preterists say the Second Coming will happen in the future at the end of some form of a millennium. Look at what Revelation says about the end of the millennium, however; it does not mention the Second Coming as happening at that time.

Rev. 20:7-10 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

This is the only unequivocal statement in Revelation concerning the end of the millennium, and the Second Coming is not even mentioned. We are shown God’s judgment on Gog and Magog here (the fire coming from God in vs. 9) but that is hardly the Second Coming. There is no Second Coming mentioned in this section.vii In the same manner there is no coming of God shown in Ezekiel 38-39, which is the passage that Revelation 20:7-10 is referring to. The coming of God happens at the beginning of the saints inheriting the kingdom (Dan. 7:21-27). This is when thrones are set up, at the beginning of the millennium (Dan. 7:7-12). What many have construed as a judgment at the end of the millennium in Revelation 20:11-15 is just the continuation of the judgment John was describing that happens at the beginning of the millennium in Revelation 20:4. Again, understanding that the judgment of Revelation 20:4 and 11-15 are one judgment at the beginning of the millennium helps to explain why the Second Coming is not shown at the end of the millennium. Daniel 7 (which is what the millennial teaching of Revelation 20 is drawn from) only shows one judgment and it was to happen at the AD 70 coming of God (the Second Coming) at beginning of the saints possessing the kingdom (the beginning of the millennium, Dan. 7:7-11, 21-27).

As I mentioned earlier, I originally rejected Russell’s position on the millennium. Allow me to share some of my earlier ideas on the millennium, as I think they are initially attractive but ultimately lead in the wrong direction. My earlier position (which I now think is mistaken) was that Rev. 20:4 was the 70AD beginning of the millennium and that Rev. 20:11-15 was the resurrection and judgment at the end of the millennium (which I saw as the end of time). I thus was in agreement with Russell that the millennium began at AD 70 but was extending Russell’s view on future things (relative to us) from Revelation 20:10 to 20:15. That is, Russell’s position is that only Revelation 20:7-10 speaks of future things whereas my former position saw Revelation 20:5-15 as dealing with future things (i.e. I saw Rev. 20:10-15 being a future judgment at the end of the millennium). In my former position I saw Revelation 21 as returning to AD 70, as the topic of the New Jerusalem/bride started in Revelation 19:7 is continued (Rev. 21:2, 9-10). My position seemed fine at first but on closer inspection I discovered logistical problems that could not be remedied.

In Rev. 21:1 (which my old position had said was AD 70) there is no more sea. If the sea (symbolic of Satan’s domain) ceased to exist in AD 70 how could it be around to give up the dead in it at (what my old position had said was) the end of time in Rev. 20:13? Also in Rev. 20:11 heaven and earth/Land flee and there is no place found for them. If this was the end of time, how is it that there is a new heaven and earth/Land in Rev. 21:1 (which my old position said was AD 70)? The necessity of a new heaven and Land in Revelation 21:1 (which I was saying was AD 70) was because the old heaven and Land had fled in Rev. 20:11 (which I was saying was the end of time). To say Revelation 21:1 is AD 70 while Revelation 20:11 is the end of time did not make sense. If Revelation 21:1 is referring to an AD 70 new heaven and new Land then the old heaven and old Land fleeing in Revelation 20:11 must also be referring to AD 70. Similarly, If Revelation 20:11 is the end of time then Revelation 21:1 should be the end of time. The new heaven and new Land in Rev. 21:1 is a direct result of the fleeing of the old heaven and old Land in Rev. 20:11. If Rev. 21:1 is AD 70 then Rev. 20:11 should also be AD 70. Since one is the direct result of the other, one can not separate the two time periods.viii The logical inconsistencies of my previous position presented an insurmountable challenge. Since I knew that the full preterist solution that the millennium was the period from AD 30 to AD 70 was wrong, I went back and reexamined, and ultimately accepted, Russell's position.

While I believe that Russell’s proposition that Revelation 20:4 and 20:11-15 form one judgment at the AD 70 beginning of the millennium is correct, it does bring up a difficulty. Revelation 20:5a says, “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.” This would seem to be at odds with the position which I am advocating which sees one resurrection of the righteous and wicked happening at the beginning of the “thousand years,” not a resurrection of the righteous at the beginning of the “thousand years,” (Rev. 20:4, 6) and then another resurrection, of the wicked (or wicked and righteous) at the end. As I investigated this difficulty, I discovered that there is some question as to whether the part of verse 5 (5a) that speaks of the rest of the dead coming alive after the thousand years was in the original text of Revelation. Notice how the NRSV highlights how Revelation 20:5a interrupts the flow of John’s thought from verse 4 to 5b. In an attempt to smooth this interruption out, the NRSV (as well as the NIV) puts 5a in parentheses (I have added a and b to v. 5).

4. Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5a. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) b. This is the first resurrection. Rev. 20:4-5 NRSV

As it stands, Revelation 20:5 does not make sense, 5a. reads “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.” 5b. reads “This is the first resurrection.” This makes it sound like the rest of the dead coming to life after the thousand years constitutes the first resurrection. Aune said the following about how verse 5a interrupts this passage, “Since the clause interrupts the thought of the passage, it may have been an annotation added at a final stage of composition.”ix Beale said the following on the awkwardness of Revelation 20:5a. The rest of the dead did not come to life… “is omitted by several good mss. [see footnote] because it was abrupt and seemed out of place or, more likely because a copyist’s eye skipped from ‘years’ at the end of v. 4 to the following ‘years’ [in verse 5].”x

I don’t believe that Revelation 5a is missing in some of the best manuscripts of Revelation simply due to a copyist’s error (this type of error is referred to as a “homoioteleuton”). Revelation 5a is absent in a little over a third of all manuscripts of Revelation including two of the three best (Sinaiticus and 2053 don’t have it, Alexandrinus does). James Parkinson wrote the following on Revelation 20:5a and whether it is part of the original text of Revelation.

In the Greek of Rev 20:5 the first sentence ends with “the thousand years,” just as does the last sentence of the preceding verse. Thus, if it is assumed both sentences were in the original, it would have been an easy mistake for the copyist’s eye to skip from the first “the thousand years” to the second, thus accidentally omitting a sentence. Indeed, Tischendorf, Alford, and others automatically regard it as an accidental omission (technically referred to as a “homoioteleuton”). However, if the sentence in question were originally a comment, with the same terminal words, the automatic judgment has no way to detect it as spurious. In the case of Rev 20:5, the sentence, “The rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years were finished” (Greek: ...until were finished the thousand years) has sufficient theological import that it is unlikely it would disappear quietly from about 37% of the manuscripts (from a progressively higher percentage in centuries before the fourteenth). While the Millennarian sentiment of Papias (early 2nd century) and others might welcome accidental omission, the anti-Millennarian spirit from Constantine onwards would severely punish it. The sentence itself interrupts the context, perhaps implying that the first resurrection is the absence of a resurrection! The earlier Aecumenius text (in manuscript 2053, preserving a text of ca. A.D. 600) omits the sentence both times, but it is added in the commentary; it suggests the sentence itself may have originated similarly.

Subsequent additions of the Words “But” and “again” seem like an effort to smooth out a foreign sentence. The absence of the disputed sentence in two of the three best manuscripts does not permit the question to be automatically dismissed, particularly because its absence from the Aramaic (Syriac), and from the popular family 82, implies that it is not a local accidental omission. Nevertheless, the manuscript evidence is not so strong as to remove all doubt; so it is here listed under Probable Corrections. xi

I believe that Revelation 5a may well have been a gloss, an early marginal comment by a scribe that got incorporated into the text of Revelation. R.H. Charles wrote the following along these lines.

As another illustration of the critical value of the form of the text I will give the vision of the kingdom of Christ and the glorified martyrs in 20:4-6. This vision would consist of seven stanzas of two lines each, but for the prosaic addition in the fifth stanza 20:5a: ‘the rest of the dead lived not till the thousand years were fulfilled.’ If this were original we should expect it to be introduced by a conjunction and that an adversative one: ‘And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years, but the rest of the dead lived not.’ But no such conjunction is given. Hence the words appear to be a marginal gloss incorporated in the text. Moreover, it intervenes between two lines which should not be separated; for the second line (‘This is the first resurrection’) defines what the first line means. Thus the first stanza should be read: 20: 4i And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years; 5b This is the first resurrection.’xii

The Syriac Philoxenian version of the New Testament (from the sixth century) reads the way that Charles suggests as being correct. It omits Revelation 20:5a (“the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended” NRSV) and connects the 2 lines that Charles felt are incorrectly separated. It gives an idea of how I believe Revelation 20:4-6 should read.

04 And I saw thrones, and [persons] sat on them, and judgment was given to them, and to the souls that were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God: and these are they who had not worshipped the beast of prey, nor its image, neither had they received the mark upon their forehead or on their hand; and they lived and reigned with their Messiah those thousand years. 05 This is the first resurrection. 06 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in this first resurrection: over them the second death hath no dominion; but they shall be, [nay] are, priests of God and of his Messiah; and they will reign with him the thousand years.xiii brackets in original
This reading is much less awkward, but more importantly, it is consistent with the teaching of the rest of Scripture that there is only one resurrection event of the physical dead (although that resurrection continues since its AD 70 beginning).xiv Nowhere else in Scripture does it show two resurrections of the physical dead separated in time. It should be clear that Revelation 20:4 is referring to the time of the resurrection, as it shows the coming to life of the souls of those who had been killedxv by the beast. These were the souls of believers (the saints overcome by the beast, cf. Rev. 13:7), being resurrected. This is not a spiritual coming to life, as the dead here were saints; they were already spiritually alive (cf. Rev. 6:9-11). Johnson said the following about how the coming alive of the martyrs of the beast is not speaking of a spiritual coming to life.
The reference to “souls” (psychas) immediately recalls 6:9, where the same expression is used of the slain witnesses under the altar. The word describes those who have lost their bodily lives but are nevertheless still alive in God’s sight. This term prepares us for their coming to (bodily) life again at the first resurrection. It is a mistake to take psychas to imply a later spiritual resurrection or rebirth of the soul, as did Augustine and many since. These martyrs are also those who did not worship the beast or his image or receive his mark on them (cf. 13:1-17; 15:2).xvi

Only one resurrection, a first, is explicitly mentioned in Revelation 20 (although such a designation could infer a second). Personally I believe that two resurrections are inferred here but that they are not separated in time. That is, they are two aspects of one resurrection event. Again, this is consistent with the rest of Scripture which shows only one resurrection of the physically dead that includes the righteous and the wicked. Jesus talked about two resurrections of the physical dead, but they were part of the same resurrection event. The first resurrection was to life, the second was to condemnation, “Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” (John 5:28-29; cf. Dan. 12:1-2; 7). These two resurrections that Jesus referred to were to happen at the same time; they were not to be separated by a period of time (such as the millennium).


i This position is not discussed by either Aune or Beale (who between the two of them cover quite a lot of ground) or any other current day commentary on Revelation that I am aware of.

ii J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia, New Edition (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999), 523-524. Originally published in London by T. Fisher Unwin, 1887.

iii Russell made little to no use of the book of Daniel in The Parousia. This is unfortunate as Daniel supports his position.

iv David Aune, Revelation 17-22, Word Bible Commentary vol. 52c, gen. eds. Bruce Metzger, David Hubbard and Glen Barker, NT ed. Ralph Martin (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 1079.

v David Aune, Revelation 17-22, Word Bible Commentary vol. 52c, gen. eds. Bruce Metzger, David Hubbard and Glen Barker, NT ed. Ralph Martin (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 1084. Aune sees the seemingly disorganized arrangement of this part of Revelation 20 as due to “hysteron-proteron,” the reversing of the logical order of narrative events.

vi In spite of this, Mounce suggests that “rule” may be the meaning here. Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, rev. ed., The New International Commentary on the New Testament, gen. eds. Ned Stonehouse, F.F. Bruce and Gordon Fee (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 1998), 364. Mounces citation for the meaning of krima is found in W. Bauer, W.F. Arndt, F.W. Gingrich, and F. Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (2nd ed., Chicago, 1979), 450-51.

vii Postmillennialists assume (as do most others) that the judgment of Revelation 20:11-15 happens at the end of the millennium, it is taken for granted by them that the Second Coming has to happen at this time even though it is not shown.

viii Some partial preterists maintain that Revelation 20:11 is the end of time and yet Revelation 21:1 is AD 70. One can disconnect these two verses in terms of their timing. The new heaven and new Land in Rev. 21:1 is a direct result of the fleeing of the old heaven and old Land in Rev. 20:11. If Rev. 21:1 is AD 70 then Rev. 20:11 should also be AD 70. If Revelation 20:11 is the end of time then Revelation 21:1 should be the end of time. The new heaven and earth of Rev. 21 happen right after the fleeing of the old heaven and earth in Rev. 20.

ix David Aune, Revelation 17-22, Word Bible Commentary vol. 52c, gen. eds. Bruce Metzger, David Hubbard and Glen Barker, NT ed. Ralph Martin (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 1090.

x G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, The New International Greek Testament Commentary, eds. I. Howard Marshall and Donald Hagner, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 1015. The manuscripts that Beale cites are the following: Sinaiticus, 2030, 2053, 2062, 2377; also the better mss of the Majority text of the Apocalypse, the Syriac, Vic, Bea. Note: ‘Vic’ stands for Victorinus Petavionensis, which means that Victor, a Bishop in Austrian around 300 (very early) quotes the passage and omits 20:5a. ‘Bea’ stands for the Commentary on the Apocalypse written by Beatus of Liebana (Spain) in the late 8th century which quotes this passage, again without 20:5a. These are very interesting-showing Western Europe’s acceptance of this version of the text. This reading, then, occurred in Syria, Egypt, and Austria. I am indebted to Stephen Douglas for helping me better understand the manuscript evidence.

xi “Manuscript Evidence and the English New Testament” http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/reference/mscript1.pdf accessed 6-20-2006
The few references I know of that mention the question of Rev. 20:5a are the following:
The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text - Hodges & Farstad
Concerning the Text of the Apocalypse - H. C. Hoskier
International Critical Commentary on Revelation - R. H. Charles.

xii R.H. Charles, The British Academy Lectures on the Apocalypse, (London: Oxford University Press, 1922), 44-45.

xiii James Murdock, The New Testament: Translated from the Syriac Peshitto Version (New York: Stanford and Swords, 1852), Gary Cernava 1996. The text that this version of Revelation is based on is from the 6th century. Earlier editions of the Syriac New Testament did not contain Revelation; see Gentry, Before Jerusalem Fell, 106.

xiv The resurrection continues as people have continued to believe since AD 70. It continues in the spiritual sensed when one is born again. It continues in its ultimate sense when the believer dies and puts on his or her resurrection body (cf. Rev. 14:8-13).

xv I have had full preterists try to make this fit an AD 30 beginning of the millennium. They say that these are the souls of those who would be killed by the beast (future to AD 30). Revelation 20:4, however, says that these souls of the martyrs of the beast had been killed (past tense). If the millennium began at AD 30 this would require a pre-AD 30 individual beast and mark (Rev. 13:11-18) to produce the martyrs that come alive in the millennium.

xvi Alan F. Johnson, Revelation in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Revised Edition: vol. 13 Hebrews-Revelation, Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland gen. eds. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 767. While Johnson and I agree that the souls coming to life n Rev. 20:4 is a reference to dead people being resurrected (as opposed to merely a spiritual coming to life) Johnson would not agree with me that the Second Coming and resurrection happened (or more correctly, started) at AD 70

70-1070AD Premillenial Preterism

By Duncan McKenzie, Ph.D. (Duncan@peoplepc.com)

From: http://www.preteristarchive.com/PartialPreterism/mckenzie-duncan_pp_05.html

Anybody who has been around preterism for any length of time may be thinking “Oh great just what we need another brand of preterism!” In this article I will not be offering another brand or form of preterism but highlighting an existing form that isn’t discussed much. The form of preterism I will be discussing is James Stuart Russell’s premillennial preterism. Simply stated Russell’s position was that the one and only Second Coming (the Parousia) happened in AD 70. Russell saw the Second Coming as beginning the millennium in AD 70 (not ending it at that time as full preterists teach); this made him a premillennialist.

Premillennial Preterism at first sounds like an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms, (something like “thunderous silence”). The reason for this is because we usually associate premillennialism with futurism. For example Hal Lindsey, who is a futurist, is a premillennialist. The term “premillennial,” however, simply speaks of the sequence of the Second Coming and the millennium it doesn’t address their timing. A premillennialist believes that Jesus returns before (pre) the millennium. A premillennial futurist like Lindsey believes Jesus will return in the future to begin the millennium. A premillennial preterist like Russell believes that Jesus returned in past (AD 70) and started the millennium at that time.
James Stuart Russell, the author of the classic preterist work The Parousia (1878) was a premillennial preterist. His position falls in-between current day full preterism and traditional partial preterism (I use the term “traditional partial preterism” to distinguish it from Russell’s premillennial preterism, which, while technically partial preterism, is much closer to full preterism). Full preterism could be classified as either amillennial or postmillennial, it says that Jesus’ Second Coming occurred at the end of the millennium in AD 70. Because full preterists believe all prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70 they are forced to fit the millennium in before AD 70. Their usual solution is to say the millennium was the 40-year period between AD 30 and AD 70. Actually, full preterists have to cut the millennium down from 40 years to make it fit before AD 70. Revelation 20:7-10 says that after the 1000 years of the millennium are ended Satan is released from the abyss to deceive the nations and gather them together for a massive invasion of Jerusalem. One has to fit this time at the end of the millennium in before AD 70 also. If one starts the millennium at AD 30 he or she has to subtract the period at its end (when Satan is loosed) from the 40 years to determine the actual length of the “1,000 year” reign.
Traditional partial preterists maintain that AD 70 was a coming of Jesus in judgment on Israel, but believe that the “real” Second Coming is to happen in the future. Again Russell’s position is in between full preterism and traditional partial preterism. Like full preterists Russell believed that AD 70 was the time of the one and only Second Coming, like partial preterists he didn’t believe that all the prophecy in the Bible was fulfilled at that time. Since the definition of a full preterist is one who believes that all prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70, technically Russell was a partial preterist. Instead of believing that the Second Coming in AD 70 ended the millennium (as full preterists do), Russell saw the Second Coming as beginning the millennium. To simply call Russell’s position either full preterism or partial preterism does not adequately describe his position; this is why I am proposing the term “premillennial preterism.” Premillennial preterism is the position I ascribe to and neither the label of full preterist or partial preterist really fit it (although it is much closer to full preterism then it is to traditional partial preterism).

Russell’s position on the book of Revelation was that all of it was fulfilled around AD 70 except for Revelation 20:5-10. Russell saw Revelation 20:5-10 as forming a parenthesis of future things. Below is Revelation 20:4-11, I have highlighted Russell’s proposed parenthesis of verses 5-10.

Revelation 20:4-11

4. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
11. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them
John, being shown the beginning of the millennium in verse 4 (which was about to start) is briefly enlightened of about what will happen at its end (Rev. 20:5-10). At Revelation 20:11 (to the end of Revelation) John goes back to describing events that were about to happen. Notice how John breaks from “I saw” in verse 4 and returns to “I saw” at verse 11. Russell said that John was relating vision (of things that were about to happen) with the “I saw” in verse 4. At verse 5 he breaks into prophecy of future events at the end of the millennium. At verse 11 he returns to vision again using “I saw”. Thus the judgment at verse 11 is not a separate judgment but a continuation of the description of the judgment John started at verse 4.
Notice that the judgment committed to God’s people in Rev. 20:4 (“and judgment was committed to them”) is something that has been promised to the believers at the judgment at Jesus’ Second Coming (which full preterists correctly say was AD 70).
“Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” 1 Cor. 6:2.
The judgment committed to God’s people in Revelation 20:4 is the judgment that Paul was telling his readers they would participate in the future (at the judgment at the Second Coming in AD 70). To say millennium of Revelation 20:4 is talking about AD 30 doesn’t fit the judgment that is shown being committed to believer.
Russell gave the following connection between the judgment given to God’s people in Rev. 20:4 and the judgment promised to the disciples.
We further observe that there is a manifest allusion in this passage [Rev. 20:4] to the promise of our Lord to His disciples, ‘Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel’ (Matt 19:28). That period has now arrived. The regeneration, when the kingdom of the Messiah was to come, is now regarded as present and the disciples are glorified with their glorified Master…The Parousia 519-520 emphasis mine
In an attempt to show that the millennium began at AD 30 there are those in both the full and partial preterist camps that say the “regeneration” began at AD 30. Matthew 25:31 dispels this notion. Jesus had said in Matt. 19:28 that the regeneration would be at the time when He would “sit on the throne of His Glory.” Matthew 25:31 puts this time when Jesus sits on the throne of His glory at the Second Coming in AD 70.
Matthew 25:31
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. emphasis mine
This fits an AD 70 beginning to the millennium. Jesus promised his followers the power of judgment in the regeneration when he would sit on the throne of His glory (Matt 19:28). Matt. 25:31 puts this time of Jesus sitting on His throne of glory as being at the Second Coming. For full preterists this is an AD 70 event not an AD 30 event. The millennium (Rev. 20:4) shows this AD 70 event of judgment being given to believers (Paul included all believers as participating in the judgment of the world at the Second Coming 1 Cor. 6:2).
Traditional partial preterists put Matt. 25:31 in the future at what they see as the final Parousia. Logically then they should put the regeneration in the future although many of them also seem to want to put the regeneration at AD 30 (at least that is what David Chilton taught when he was a traditional partial preterist. David Chilton The Days of Vengeance (PDF) 509 &510 Chilton became a full preterist shortly before he died in 1997). Again the regeneration was when Jesus was to sit on the throne of His glory (Matt. 19:28), which was to happen at the Second Coming (Matt.25:31). Whenever one wants to make the Second Coming is when they should be saying the regeneration was or will be (of course the correct answer is that the regeneration was in AD 70 at the Second Coming of Jesus).
Revelation 21:4&5 show the regeneration.
4. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
5. “Then He who sat on the throne said “Behold, I make all things new.…”
Full preterists correctly say that the Rev. 21:5 regeneration is an AD 70 event, they are inconsistent when they try to put the Matt 19:28 regeneration (when authority and judgment were promised to the disciples) back to AD 30 to try to try and make the millennium start in AD 30. That would make two different regenerations (which is about as consistent as traditional partial preterists making two different Parousias).
In Russell’s mind the millennium was a near event in terms of its beginning but the end of it would be in the distant future from when John wrote. When Max King came along in the early 70’s he put forth the proposition that all prophecy (including the millennium) was fulfilled by AD 70. This was the birth of modern day full preterism. A fundamental shift occurred at this time from Russell’s premillennial preterism to full preterism. Again the full preterist position is that the millennium (and the season at its end) was from around AD 30-70, and that the Second Coming in AD 70 occurred at its end. It is this shift that Max King made away from Russell’s position that I am seeking to highlight. I personally believe it was a mistake but either way people need to be more aware of it (so they can make up their own minds). Let me interject here that even though I disagree with full preterists they are obviously my brothers and sisters in Christ. Max King appears from his writings to clearly be a fellow believer who is searching for the truth just as I am. I have some disagreements with his position but I am not questioning his character as a person or his commitment as a Christian. As I have said my position is much closer to full preterism than traditional partial preterism. Of course the final authority is not Russell or King but Scripture, all conservative (Bible believing) preterists agree on this.
Russell said the following about those who in his day (the mid to late 1800’s) were trying to fit the millennium in before AD 70 (which is what full preterists propose).
Some interpreters indeed attempt to get over the difficulty [of the end of the millennium not being one of the things that were at hand when John wrote] by supposing that the thousand years, being a symbolic number, may represent a period of very short duration, and so bring the whole within the prescribed apocalyptic limits [of AD 70]; but this method of interpretation appears to us so violent and unnatural that we cannot hesitate to reject it. The act of binding and shutting up the dragon does indeed come within the ‘shortly’ of apocalyptic statement, for it is coincident, or nearly so, with the judgment of the harlot and the beast; but the term of the dragon’s imprisonment is distinctly stated to be for a thousand years, and thus must necessarily pass entirely beyond the field of vision so strictly and constantly limited by the book itself. We believe, however, that this is the solitary example which the whole book contains of this excursion beyond the limits of ‘shortly;’ and we agree with [Moses] Stuart that no reasonable difficulty can be made on account of this single exception to the rule. We shall also find as we proceed that the events referred to as taking place after the termination of the thousand years are predicted as in a prophecy, and not represented as in a vision. Indeed the passage, chap. 20:5-10, seems evidently introduced parenthetically, interrupting the continuity of the narrative, which is again resumed, as we shall see, at ver. 11. James Stuart Russell, The Parousia pg. 514 emphasis mine
Russell was saying that John started describing the judgment at the beginning of the millennium (AD 70) in verse 4. He breaks into prophecy about what will happen at the end of the millennium in verses 5-10 and then returns to describing the judgment at the beginning of the millennium in verse 11. Russell’s position is thus in agreement with full preterists over most things (the Second Coming and judgment were in AD 70, we are currently in the New Jerusalem etc.). The disagreement between Russell’s position and full preterism would be over Revelation 20:5-10 and the idea that all prophecy had to be fulfilled by AD 70. Thus Russell saw Satan as still on the scene after AD 70, though limited in his ability to deceive the nations (the meaning of the symbol of Satan being bound and put in the bottomless pit as he was not bound with a literal chain and put in a pit in the earth at AD 70). In contrast full preterists see Satan as being eternally off the scene, confined to his final place of judgment (the lake of fire) in AD 70.
That Russell, the father (grandfather?) of modern preterism considered trying to fit the millennium in before AD 70 “violent and unnatural” should not be taken lightly (it is usually ignored or brushed aside by full preterists as they embrace Russell as one of their own). This is a strong condemnation of the full preterism’s premise that all prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70.
The full preterist proposition of starting the millennium at or around AD 30 runs into a very big problem right off the bat. Consider the millennium verse of Revelation 20:4.
Rev. 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. The I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. emphasis mine
One of the groups that enter the millennium consists of martyrs who had not worshipped the beast or his image. These believers had overcome the beast at the cost of their lives Cf. Rev. 12:11. The beast was to be an eighth king (Rev. 17:11) he was to come after Nero (AD 54-68) who all preterists agree was the sixth king (the one ruling when Revelation was written, Rev. 17:10). The beast was to be destroyed at the Second Coming in AD 70 (Rev. 19:11-21). Whoever one wants to say the beast was (I am not going into his identity here) he existed around the time of AD 70 as he fights against Jesus at the Second Coming (Rev. 19:11-21). The mark of the beast is discussed in Revelation chapter 13. John was warning his readers not to take it. The millennium was being held out as a reward to those who would face the beast, some of them would be killed in the process of resisting him. Now to say the millennium started around AD 30 means that some of those coming alive at that time (AD 30) had been martyred by the beast. This just doesn’t fit the timing of Revelation. One would have to come up with a pre-AD 30 beast (and remember the beast was to be an eighth king that was to come after Nero! {54-68} Rev. 17:11). Even if one comes up with a pre-AD 30 beast, why were Christians being warned about him some 35 years after the fact? (Revelation was probably written around AD 65). If the mark of the beast were a pre AD 30 phenomenon then Jesus should have been warning about it in AD 30 instead of John warning about it in AD 65. Again, the people who come alive for the millennium had overcome the beast, this fits an AD 70 beginning to the millennium not an AD 30 beginning.
At this point some would say that at times in Revelation the beast refers to a person and at times it refers to the Roman Empire, thus a pre AD 30 mark of the beast could refer to the general worship of the emperor. It is true that at times the beast speaks of an individual and at other times the kingdom which he was a part of is stressed (consider Rev. 12:3 where it is the dragon with 7 heads and 10 horns not the beast) but the mark of the beast (which those who enter the millennium hadn’t taken) refers to a specific man. He was to be an eighth king, who was to come after the sixth king who was Nero (AD 54-68) Rev. 17:10&11. Revelation chapter 13 makes this point.
Revelation 13:16-18
16. He [the land beast, a.k.a. the false prophet Cf. Rev. 19:20] causes all, both small and great rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,
17. and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18. Here is wisdom, Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. emphasis mine
The (sea) beast and the land beast of Revelation 13 represent specific persons (the land beast was from the “land” of Israel. He is the one who enforces the sea beast’s mark. The sea beast of Rev.13 is “the beast,” the land beast is later referred to as the “false prophet,” Rev. 19:20). In Revelation 19:19-20 the beast and false prophet fight against Jesus at the AD 70 Second Coming and are thrown into the lake of fire at that time. I don’t think anybody would want to take the position that this was referring to the Roman Empire being thrown into the lake of fire at AD 70. To try and say that the mark of the beast was simply worshipping the Roman Empire (so one can say the mark of the beast was a pre AD 30 phenomenon and thus say the millennium started at AD 30) is illegitimate. It is an attempt to avoid the clear AD 70 implications of those who enter the millennium, they “had not received his [the beast’s] mark on their foreheads or on their hands” Rev. 20.4. Again, the mark of the beast had to do with a specific ruler (“Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man”). One cannot legitimately make the beast (who was an eighth king that was to come after Nero (AD 54-68) who was the sixth king Rev. 17:10&11) and his mark a pre AD 30 phenomenon.
In Revelation chapter 14 John saw three angels. The first had the everlasting gospel to preach to every inhabitant of the earth (Rev. 14:6). This was something Jesus said had to happen by the Second Coming (AD 70) Matt. 24:14; cf. Col. 1:5&6. The second angel proclaims that Babylon (Jerusalem) is fallen (Rev. 14:8), again an AD 70 event. The third angel proclaims
Revelation 14:9 “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation…”
Again this is an AD 70 event as the beast was to come after Nero {AD 54-68} (the sixth king Rev. 17:10&11) and fights against Jesus at the Second Coming (Rev. 19:11-21). The very next thing John sees in Revelation chapter 14 (vs.14-16) is One like the Son of Man on a cloud reaping the harvest of souls from the earth (the Second Coming). These are all AD 70 events. To try and make the third angel’s pronouncement about the mark of the beast speak of the time around AD 30 is, as Russell said, doing violence to Scripture but that is what one has to do to fit the millennium in before AD 70. Of course another option for full preterists would be to come up with two beasts, one pre AD 30 and one around the time of AD 70, but this is absurd.
One of the underlying problems here is that full preterists use verses like Luke 21:22 to establish a higher order interpretive principle, what I call a “meta-hermeneutic.” Full preterists interpret Luke 21:22 (“For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled”) as saying that all prophecy in the Bible was to be fulfilled by AD 70. If this is true (which it isn’t) then the millennium must fit in before AD 70 even though the context of Revelation clearly doesn’t allow for it. In my article “Was All the Prophecy in the Bible Fulfilled by AD 70” (on the partial preterism section of the Preterist Archive under my name) I examine Luke 21:22. In that article I argue that a meta-hermeneutic (a higher order interpretive principle), because it forms the basis for how one interprets Scripture, needs to be examined very carefully and be very solid. I argue that when one examines Luke 21:22 in terms of it meaning that all the prophecy in the Bible was to be fulfilled by AD 70 that meaning does not hold up. The importance of full preterists reexamining Luke 21:22 cannot be overemphasized, it is a linchpin in their “all fulfilled by AD 70” foundation of full preterism. This hermeneutic constraint (that all Bible prophecy must be fulfilled by AD 70) is what makes full preterists feel they need to fit the millennium in before AD 70. Again see my article.
Another difference between full preterism and Russell’s premillennial preterism centers on the current location of Satan. Full preterists teach that Satan was banished to the abyss in AD 30 (at what they see as the beginning of the millennium) and then to his final place of torment, (the lake of fire), in AD 70. Full preterists thus take the position that evil was dealt with as fully as it ever will be in AD 70. This means evil will have no final end or if it does Scripture doesn’t address it. Full preterists believe that Satan was put in his final place of torment in AD 70 and evil continues to live on the earth for eternity; they say that evil still exists because it lives on in men’s hearts. This explanation of why evil is still around even though Satan is supposed to be in his final place of torment may satisfy full preterists but I don’t think it satisfies anyone else. The overwhelming majority of Christians would have a big problem with the full preterist contention that evil is to continue into eternity with no final end. Premillennial preterism says that Satan was bound or limited in his ability to deceive the nations at AD 70 and still awaits his final destruction. This explains why evil is still around, it also says that at a point in the future evil will be permanently banished from the universe (in the lake of fire, Rev. 20:10).
Russell said the following about the time at the end of the millennium (Rev. 20:7-10) when Satan is released before being put in his final place of confinement (the lake of fire).
“We must consequently regard this prediction of the loosing of Satan, and the events which follow, as still future, and therefore unfulfilled. We know of nothing recorded in history which can be adduced as in any way a probable fulfilment of this prophecy. Wetstein has hazarded the hypothesis that possibly it may symbolise (sic) the Jewish revolt under Barcochebas, [the Bar Kosiba War, 132-135 AD] in the reign of Hadrian; but the suggestion is too extravagant to be entertained for a moment.
There is an evident connection between this prophecy and the vision in Ezekiel concerning Gog and Magog (chaps. 38&39), which is equally mysterious and obscure. In both the scene of conflict is laid in the same place, the land of Israel; and in both the enemies of God meet with a signal and disastrous overthrow.”
Notice that Russell (unlike full preterists) puts the final destruction of Satan in the future. Russell was not working under the full preterist meta-hermeneutic that all prophecy had to be fulfilled by AD 70. When Russell was writing in 1878 there was no Israel and it didn’t appear there ever would be again. An invasion of the land of Israel is less “mysterious” in our day now that there is an Israel (after the flesh) to invade. See my article “A New Preterist Perspective” for my views on Israel and Gog and Magog (In a nutshell, I look for peace to come to the nation of Israel as Ezek. 38:8-11 says Israel would be dwelling in unwalled villages when the Gog and Magog attack happens, this would indicate her being at peace. How or exactly when this peace will happen I am not sure but it is coming. When peace finally does come to Israel then begin to keep an eye on Russia, as those are the conditions for the Gog and Magog invasion. Again see my article for more details).
Full preterists tend to spiritualize the Gog and Magog invasion (Rev. 20:7-10) and put it right before AD 70. Because of this are almost forced to say it is the same war as in Revelation 19:11-21. Notice some critical differences between the two wars, however. The Rev. 19 war features the beast and false prophet. In the Gog and Magog war they are absent. At the end of the Rev. 19 war the beast and false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20). At the end of the Gog and Magog war Satan is thrown into the lake of fire where the beast and false prophet already are (Rev 20:10). This puts the Gog and Magog war after the Rev. 19 war. It explains why the beast and false prophet are not mentioned in the Gog and Magog war as that war happens after the Rev. 19 war (when they were put in the lake of fire). Since full preterists (correctly) put the Rev. 19 war at AD 70 there is no room for another major war (Gog and Magog) after it but before AD 70. Thus to end the millennium (which is when the Gog and Magog invasion happens) at AD 70 doesn’t fit.
To me the natural sequence of Revelation chapters 19 and 20 is the following. The Revelation 19:11-21 war happens at the one and only Parousia in AD 70. The beast and false prophet were put into the lake of fire at that time (Rev. 19:20) and Satan was bound for the millennium (Rev. 20:1). (Those who want the millennium to start at AD 30 say that at Revelation 20 the scenario goes back to AD 30, this is what is known as a “recapitulation.” I believe Revelation has recapitulations I just don’t see one at Rev. 20. I see Rev. 20 as continuing the description of what happens after the Second Coming which has been described in Rev. 19:11-21.) At the end of the millennium (which I believe we are in) Satan is loosed and gathers the nations for the Gog and Magog invasion. He is of course defeated (he didn’t have a chance, he was defeated at the cross) and then is thrown into the lake of fire where the beast and false prophet are waiting for him (Rev. 20:10). The full preterist position says the Satan, the beast and false prophet were all thrown into the lake of fire at the same time (AD 70). That is just not what Revelation 19 and 20 show.
It should be clear that while the similarities between full preterism and premillennial preterism are many, the differences are important. Among other things these differences affect how we should be living now. If Satan is still around (even though bound or limited) it would mean our reigning with Jesus should be more active then if he is totally off the scene for eternity. It is my belief that we are living in the time at the end of the millennium when Satan is loosed to deceive the world (see my article on the Preterist Archive, “A New Preterist Perspective”). I believe this is why we have seen such a rise of evil in the world in the last half of the 20th century. Spiritually speaking this is our world (the Christian’s); we need to be more active in our rule by prayer (corporate and individual) and sharing the good news of the Bible. Jesus won all power and authority in heaven and on earth at the cross (Matt. 28:18). That authority was fully transferred to His people at the Second Coming (the kingdom coming with power (Matt. 16:28; Mark 8:31& 9:1; Rev. 2:26) this was the beginning of the millennium. Pre-millennial futurists put the millennium in the future, full preterists put it in the past. The outcome of both of these positions is the same, inactivity. When is the last time you saw a full preterist article calling for more prayer? . Come to think of it when is the last time you saw any preterist article (full or partial) calling for more prayer? I am not saying they are not out there I just haven’t seen any. We need to be applying the authority that preterism (both full and partial) teaches we have. This authority is primarily implemented through prayer; the Christian army advances on its knees. Spiritually speaking this world is the Christians but just as the Children of Israel had to possess the Promised Land (which I am equating with entering the millennium in AD 70) we have to possess this world. When the children of Israel entered the Promised Land they were told “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you” Joshua 1:3. I believe that is how it is for the Christian today, spiritually speaking this is our world but we need to be possessing it (by prayer and sharing God’s word). By the way the Children of Israel possessed the Promise Land by the sword, we turn the sword into a plowshare; we possess with the plowing (sowing God’s word) and reaping (“They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks” Isaiah 2:4). Again the primacy of prayer in our rule with Jesus over the nations cannot be over emphasized.
Revelation 2:25-27 says that at AD 70, believers (at the church at Thyatira) would be given authority over the nations (while full prets. and partial prets. would disagree over which Coming of Jesus this is referring to I think both would agree the reference is to AD 70).
25. But hold fast what you have till I come.
26. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end to him I will give power over the nations
27. He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ as I also have received from My Father.
The “end” referred to in Rev. 2:26 is not the end of the world but the AD 70 end of the Old Covenant age Cf. Heb. 9:26; 1 Cor. 10:11, I think both full and partial preterists would agree on that also.
Revelation 3:20 & 21 also speaks of believers (at the church of Laodicea) sharing in Christ’s reign at His AD 70 Coming.
20. Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
21. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Again while full and partial preterists would disagree over whether these references (Rev. 2:26 & 3:21) to believers sharing in Jesus’ reign are speaking of the Second Coming or a judgment coming of Jesus on Israel both would agree that the time of the references is to AD 70. It is my position that these promises (given to those who overcome) of sharing in Christ’s AD 70 reign speak of the same sharing of Jesus’ reign that those who enter the millennium participate in (Rev. 20:4). Again the promises of Rev. 2:26 and 3:21 of sharing in Jesus’ authority and reign over the nations are clearly (to a preterist) AD 70 promises. Again I believe these promises corresponded to the AD 70 beginning of the millennium when judgment and authority were to be given to God’s people as they shared in Jesus’ reign. The millennial reign was being held out as a reward to those who stayed faithful to Jesus until his AD 70 (Second) Coming. “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.” 2 Timothy2:12. Timothy, writing around AD 66, considered believers sharing in Jesus’ reign (the millennium) as a near but future event. If believers endured (to the Second Coming in AD 70) they would reign with Christ, this was the millennium (And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years Rev. 20:4).
The things being promised to the seven churches (Rev. 2:1 to 3:22) in AD 65 (which is approximately when Revelation was written) were the blessings that were to be available at the Second Coming in AD 70. Towards the end of Revelation God reminds the hearers of the book of these promises (that were to happen at AD 70) that He had made to the overcomers in the seven churches (“He who overcomes will inherit these things…” Rev. 21:7 NASB). Again the reference of Revelation 21:7 is to the promises made to the seven churches at the beginning of the book (Rev. 2:1 to 3:22). These promises were made to those who would overcome, that is, those who would stay faithful to Jesus up to His AD 70 Second Coming. The believers of the seven churches were being told about the AD 70 promises so as to provide encouragement and incentive for them to remain faithful until that time (AD 70).
The believers at the church of Ephesus had been promised access to the tree of life. (“To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” Rev. 2:7). We see the tree of life in Rev. 22:2, to a full preterist access to the tree of life (which was in the New Jerusalem) was a clearly a promise that would have an AD 70 fulfillment.
The believers at the church at Pergamos were promised a new name (“To him who overcomes I will give… him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” Rev. 2:17). This secret name corresponded to the secret name which Jesus had at His Second Coming (“He [Jesus] had a name that no one knew but Himself” Rev. 19:12). Again the promise given to the believers of having a new name was to have an AD 70 fulfillment. By the way the promise of a new name for the believer was not a promise of a new moniker, rather it was a promise of something new about their essence and/or position Cf. Gen.17:5. The point I want to make here is that this promise of a secret name was to have an AD 70 fulfillment just as we see Jesus with a secret name at His AD 70 Coming.
The believers at the church of Sardis were promised that they wouldn’t have their name blotted out of the book of life (“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life…” Rev. 3:5). The book of life speaks of one receiving eternal life at the judgment (Rev. 20:12), again to a full preterist the judgment in Rev. 20:12 is at AD 70, again a clear AD 70 promise.
The believers at the church of Philadelphia were promised a part in the New Jerusalem (“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name”. Rev. 3:12). Again full preterists correctly say that the blessedness of the New Jerusalem coming down to earth was an AD 70 event (Rev. 21:2).
The pattern of the promises given to the seven churches involved telling about the wonderful things that were going to happen at the AD 70 Second Coming and offering them as incentives to those who would stay faithful until that Coming. These AD 70 incentives were being held out to the seven churches because the believers of those churches would have to face the difficult times talked of in Revelation (persecution, the great tribulation, the mark of the beast etc.). Now consider the AD 70 incentives made to the churches at Smyrna, Thyatira and Laodicea, they were all promises that related to participating in the millennium. Remember the pattern of the promises offered to the seven churches was to present the blessings that would be available to those who stayed faithful until Jesus’ Coming in AD 70, this makes the millennial promises (and hence the millennium) AD 70 events.
The believers at the church of Smyrna were promised not to be hurt by the Second death (“He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second” death Rev. 2:11). This promise is fulfilled in those who come alive for the millennium (“over such the second death has no power but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years” Rev. 20:6. The incentive offered to the church of Smyrna was to have an AD 70 fulfillment. This AD 70 incentive was to be fulfilled at the beginning of the millennium, that puts the millennium’s beginning at AD 70. If the millennium began in AD 30 then Jesus was promising the believers at Smyrna something they already had.
The believers at the church of Laodicea were promised to sit on Jesus’ throne, that is, they would share in His rule (“to him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” Rev. 3:21). This AD 70 promise was a reference to believers sharing in Jesus’ rule, again this was to be fulfilled at the beginning of the millennium (“And I saw thrones and they sat on them and judgment was committed to them…and they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” Rev. 20:4). Again the AD 70 promise to believers to share in Jesus’ rule was to be fulfilled at the AD 70 beginning to the millennium. If the millennium started at AD 30 Jesus was again promising something to believers that they already had, which would not be much of an incentive.
The believers at the church of Thyatira were also promised to share in Jesus’ AD 70 rule (“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations- He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels- as I also have received from My Father.” Rev. 2:26&27). Again the “end” referred to here is the AD 70 end of the Old Covenant age. Cf. Matt. 13:36-50 (note the old King James Version mistranslated the Greek aion (which means age) in Matt. 13:36-50 as “world” the newer translations correct this mistake). The promise to believers at the church of Thyatira (which was to be fulfilled in AD 70) was of sharing in Jesus’ messianic rule. That promise was to be fulfilled in those who participate in the millennium {again indicating an AD 70 beginning of the millennium} (“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Rev. 20:6). Again, if the millennium began in AD 30 then Jesus’ promise to share in his messianic reign over the nations made little sense, as it would have been something the believers at Thyatira already had.
As I have said, the promises made to the seven churches were being given as incentives to encourage them to remain faithful to Jesus through the difficult times that were coming (between the writing of Revelation around AD 65 and the Second Coming in AD 70). These promises were to have an AD 70 fulfillment. In effect Jesus was saying, remain faithful to Me until My AD 70 Coming and these are the rewards you will get. To me the fact that three of the seven churches (Smyrna, Thyatira and Laodicea) were being offered AD 70 incentives that related to them entering the millennium is a clear indication of the millennium beginning in AD 70.
While I agree with full preterists that AD 30-70 was a transition period, I disagree with them that it was the time of the believers sharing in the millennial reign of Jesus. AD 30-70 was the “already but not yet” of the kingdom. With the ministry of Jesus the kingdom of God was in the midst of His hearers (Luke 17:21 NASB). The kingdom would come with full power (the millennium) in the lifetime (AD 70) of some of those listening to Jesus (Mark 8:38&9; Luke 9:27). This AD 70 coming of the kingdom with power, when believers would rule with Jesus (the millennium) can be seen in the following parable.
Luke 19:11-27
11 Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. 12 Therefore He said: "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, 'Do business till I come.' 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We will not have this man to reign over us.' 15 And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned ten minas.' 17 And he said to him, 'Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.' 18 And the second came, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned five minas.' 19 Likewise he said to him, 'You also be over five cities.' 20 Then another came, saying, 'Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. 21 For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.' 22 And he said to him, 'Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?' 24 And he said to those who stood by, 'Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.' 25 (But they said to him, 'Master, he has ten minas.') 26 For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 27 But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.' "
Notice that this parable was told because the hearers of Jesus thought the kingdom of God was just about to come (what I would call an expectation of an AD 30 millennium). The kingdom of God would come (with full power) when the nobleman returned from the far country after receiving his kingdom (the Second Coming in AD 70). Notice the events that happen when this nobleman returns ( again symbolic of the Second Coming) there is the judgment of both the nobleman’s followers and the people who didn’t want the nobleman to rule over them (the Jews that rejected Jesus). The people who rejected the nobleman (the Jews who rejected Jesus) are destroyed at this point. A full preterist would correctly say these events are AD 70 events. This AD 70 beginning of the implementation of the nobleman’s rule when he returned from a far country was the AD 70 beginning of the millennium at the Second Coming Cf. 2 Timothy 4:1. Notice that this is the point that the servants share in the nobleman’s rule (“Well done good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities” Luke 19:17). This sharing in the rule of the nobleman’s (Jesus’) kingdom is what the millennium is all about (“And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” Rev. 20:4). To try and make the millennium start at AD 30 goes against meaning of the parable of the nobleman. There would be a delay of the full implementation of the kingdom. The kingdom was to come with full power at the Second Coming in AD 70 (Mark 8:38 & 9:1; Luke 9:27) that was the time that believer would share in Jesus’ rule, that was the beginning of the millennium. The followers of the nobleman would share in his rule at the time when the nobleman destroyed those who didn’t want him to rule over them (the Jews, “we have no king but Caesar” John 19:15). This was at the destruction of the Jewish nation at AD 70.
Traditional partial preterists have some trouble with this parable of the nobleman. They would probably say the nobleman’s coming and destroying the subjects that didn’t want him to rule over them was Jesus’ AD 70 coming in judgment on the Jews. That the judgment of the nobleman’s followers also happens at this time presents a real problem for their position as they say that that judgment is to happen at a future coming of Jesus. Look at the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 (which traditional partial preterists say should happen in the future) it is essentially the same as the one in Luke 19:11-27. Traditional partial preterists want to put Israel’s judgment at the AD 70 Parousia and the believers judgment at a future Parousia; the parable of the nobleman puts them at the same time (at the one and only Parousia at AD 70).
Again I agree with full preterists that AD 30-70 was a transition period, I even agree with them on most of the particulars of this period; I just disagree that this transition period was the millennium. The picture of the transition period of AD 30-70 was that of the wilderness journey of Israel. Jesus’ death on the cross in AD 30 fulfilled the feast of Passover. Just as the death of the Passover lamb set in motion the events that set the Children of Israel free from the bondage of Egypt, so Jesus’ death set believers free from the bondage of Satan’s kingdom (Heb. 2:14&15). Just as the children of Israel would spend 40 years in the wilderness before they reached the Promised Land so the first Christians would go through a 40-year wilderness journey before they entered the millennium. The millennium corresponded not to the 40-year wilderness journey but to entering the Promised Land. The writers of Hebrews (who I believe was Paul) used the analogy of Israel’s wilderness journey in speaking to his audience. He warned them not to fall in the wilderness as some of the children of Israel did (Hebrews 4:11). Paul uses the wilderness parallel in 1 Corinthians 10, he warns his readers of how many of the children of Israel were laid low in the wilderness, not making it to the Promised Land (1 Cor. 10:5&6). In 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul says he even he was careful that after preaching to others that he should not be disqualified. This brings up a very important difference between the transition period of AD 30-70 and the millennium. Those that lived in the transition period (AD 30-70) could lose their salvation, those in the millennium can not (“over such the second death has no power” Rev. 20:6). Paul (during the transition period) said to his hearers “we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.” Heb. 3:14. Again the end is the end of the age, the Second Coming at AD 70. Paul was telling his hearers they were partakers of Christ if they were steadfast to the end Cf. Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:35-39. Consider how one of Jesus’ servants (the unprofitable one) is thrown into outer darkness at the Second Coming (Matt. 25:30). This need of staying faithful to the AD 70 end of the age was why God was constantly telling the seven churches that it was the one who overcame that would receive the promised blessings (Rev. 21:7). One of these promised AD 70 blessings was access to the tree of life (Rev. 2:7; 22:2). The promises to the churches Sardis (Rev. 3:5) and Smyrna (Rev. 2:11) highlight the point that one could lose his or her salvation during the AD 30-70 transition period.
Rev. 3:5 “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life.”
Rev. 2:11 “He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”
The clear implication of these two promises is that those of the seven churches that didn’t overcome could have their names blotted out from the book of life and could be hurt by the second death (the lake of fire, Rev. 21:8) otherwise the promises are meaningless. The promise of Rev. 2:11 was that those who overcome and remain faithful to the AD 70 Coming (even if that faithfulness costs them their lives) would not be hurt by the second death. This AD 70 promise to the church of Smyrna made around AD 65 is fulfilled in those who come alive for the millennium.
Rev. 2:11 He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.
Rev. 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priest of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
What was a future promise in AD 65 (of an AD 70 blessing) is a fulfilled promise for those who enter the millennium. Again that makes the millennium an AD 70 event not an AD 30 event.
Again believers during the transition period (AD 30-70) could lose their salvation (fall in the wilderness so to speak) those coming alive for the millennium could not. This fits the millennium beginning in AD 70 not AD 30. I praise God that we who are born again after AD 70 are among those who have access to the tree of life and can’t be hurt by the second death! I believe that Revelation 14:13 describes the blessedness of those born again after AD 70.
Rev. 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on” Yes says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors and their works follow them.
The “rest” that Paul had told his readers was coming (and exhorted them to be diligent to enter) at the Second Coming (Hebrews 4:1-11) has come in Revelation 13:14. Again we who are born after AD 70 (born into the millennium so to speak) are born into this rest, to this I say praise the Lord! Again those who enter the millennium receive a secure salvation as they can not be hurt by the second death (the lake of fire, Rev. 21:8), this fits an AD 70 beginning of the millennium not an AD 30 beginning.
I believe that the “1,000 years” of the millennium (Rev. 20:4) is symbolic of the Day of the Lord (“with the Lord one day is as a thousand years…” 2 Peter 3:8). The Day of the Lord was something that Peter saw as being very close but in the future from when he wrote 2 Peter (probably in the mid AD 60’s.). The Day of the Lord (which a 1,000 years would be a fitting symbol of) was to start at the Second Coming in AD 70 (2 Peter 3:10-13) this was the beginning of the “1000 years” of the millennium.
Full preterists try to make the millennium 40 years. One problem with this is that by far the most common symbolic use of the number 40 in the Bible is that of a time of trial and testing (in the Flood it rained for 40 days, the Children of Israel were 40 years in the wilderness, Jesus tested in the wilderness for 40 days, 40 minus 1 lashes {2 Cor. 11:24, the “minus 1” was so the punishment didn’t mistakenly go over 40} etc.)
“The period of forty days or years is an important one in Scripture and in Jewish tradition. As the church fathers observed, it is most often associated with hardship, affliction and punishment.” Leland Ryken ,et al, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery 305
A time associated with hardship, affliction and punishment is hardly a fitting symbol for the millennium. Those coming alive for the millennium are said to be “blessed” (Rev. 20:6). Forty years is not a very good number to represent a blessed period. Those entering the millennium had just come through the 40 years of testing (the wilderness transition period AD 30-70), the blessed period (the millennium) was to start at AD 70. Added to this, it is difficult to make the millennium last 40 years if one starts it in AD 30. One has to fit the “1,000 year” reign and the time Satan is released from the abyss at the end of the 1,000 years (Rev. 20:7-10) into the 40 year period. That makes the millennium less than forty years. Even if one somehow gets around this (by trying to start the millennium before AD 30 or making the time when Satan is loosed at its end extraordinarily short) and makes the millennium 40 years, as I said the number 40 is a lousy symbol for a blessed period such as the millennium. If one is going to say the 1,000 years of the millennium is a symbolic number (which I believe it is) one has to say what the 1000 years are symbolic of. As I have said I believe the 1000 years of the millennium are symbolic of the Day of the Lord (“with the Lord one day is as a thousand years…” 2 Peter 3:8). The Day of the Lord was to start at the Second Coming in AD 70 (2 Peter 3:8-13). I am not sure what full preterists would say the 1000 years of the millennium are symbolic of (some say it is symbolic of 40 which they connect with King David’s reign, but that doesn’t make sense).
I could write more, like, why did Peter say in the early 60’s AD that the devil was walking about like a roaring lion? That doesn’t sound like he was bound and in the abyss to me. Why does Paul (writing around 55 or 56 AD) refer to the devil as “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4) again that doesn’t sound very bound. Again I could write more but I think I have written enough for now.
To summarize: James Stuart Russell’s position was that the millennium began at AD 70 at the one and only Parousia. In the early 1970’s a shift occurred away from Russell’s premillennial preterism to full preterism. This shift was subsequently buried. I have endeavored to offer some reasons why I think this shift from Russell’s premillennial preterism to full preterism has resulted in some mistakes and needs to be reexamined. I have called for the use of the term “premillennial preterism” to differentiate Russell’s position from full preterism and traditional partial preterism. Like the full preterists Russell saw AD 70 as the time of the one and only Second Coming (the Parousia), like the partial preterists he did not see all the prophecy in the Bible as fulfilled at that time. Premillennial preterism agrees with the most of the tenants of full preterism (AD 70 was the time of the Second Coming, resurrection and judgment, we are currently in the New Jerusalem etc.). The main disagreement between premillennial preterism and full preterism is with the hermeneutic constraint of full preterists that all the prophecy in the Bible had to have been fulfilled by AD 70 and the outgrowth of this, that the millennium had to have ended by AD 70. Full preterists usually embrace Russell, they are not as enthusiastic about me when I elaborate on his position.
Russell’s book The Parousia should be required reading for any preterist. If one would like to read more of my thoughts I have the following articles on the partial preterist section of the Preterist Archive. (Russell can be found on the full preterist section of the Preterist Archive, while I am on the partial preterist section. This highlights the fact that premillennial preterism falls somewhere between the classifications of full preterism and traditional partial preterism). My articles are the following.
A New Preterist Perspective” In this article I discuss Israel, Gog and Magog and where I think we are now.
Revelation Chapter 12” In this article I discuss how Rev. 12 shows Satan being thrown to the earth when God’s people entered the wilderness period at AD 30 (not into the abyss at that time as the full preterist position would predict).
Was All The Prophecy In The Bible Fulfilled By AD 70?” In this article I examine Luke 21:22, one of the foundations of the “all fulfilled by AD 70” hermeneutic constraint of full preterism.
Revelation Book Of The Covenant Curses Of Leviticus And Deuteronomy.” In this article I look at the covenant curses of Leviticus and Deuteronomy and how they provide the background for many of the images in the Book of Revelation. One interesting thing God said was that after he had brought all the covenant curses on Israel and scattered them to the nations (which happened in AD 70) he would bring them back to the Land, even if it meant gathering them from the farthest parts under heaven (Deut. 30:1-10).
I am currently working on a book on the Antichrist/Beast. I have written 250 pages and have about 100 more pages to go. In the book I offer a different candidate for the beast than Nero. I am not going into the identity of my candidate right now but trust me the book will be a revelation (excuse the pun). By the way I am looking for a publisher if there are any out there.
Duncan McKenzie

70-1070AD 2 Peter 3: Understanding the Language of the Prophets

From: http://www.preteristcentral.com/p2_peter_3.htm

by Kurt Simmons

 
2 Peter 3
Understanding the Language of the Prophets
 
 
In this article we discuss the elements of 2 Peter 3, and decide they are not reference to the Mosaic law or temple ritual.
Obstacles to Understanding
There are only two or three truly difficult passages that serve as obstacles to full preterism. These are the “eschatological change” of 1 Cor. 15:51-55, the “rapture” of 1 Thess. 4:16, 17, and the language of “cosmic conflagration” in 2 Pet. 3:7-12. The chief difficulty of the first two passages is the tendency to assume that the catching away of living saints to heaven is or was to be substantially simultaneous with the resurrection of the dead. However, once that assumption is dispelled, it becomes clear that Paul is in fact describing the process by which the living are translated one-by-one at the time of death.
The chief difficulty with 2 Peter 3 is the tendency to take the language literally. This can be overcome by comparing Peter’s language with established usage in the Old Testament and providing a suitable explanation for the symbolism.
Comparing 2 Peter 3 with Old Testament Usage
The Old Testament passage that bears the greatest overall similarity to 2 Peter 3:10-12 is probably Isaiah 34:1-10. This is a prophecy of God’s judgment and wrath upon the nations of the ancient world, first by the Babylonians, then the Medes and Persians. The time of wrath is world-wide (“all nations”). However, while it the prophecy opens by announcing wrath upon all nations, it narrows as it progresses, bringing its focus to bear upon Edom (Bozrah, Idumea) for that nation’s part in helping destroy Jerusalem (see Obadiah 10-16).

 
2 Peter 3:10-12
 
Isaiah 34:1-10
 
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of person ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
 
 
 
Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come froth of it. For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heaven shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree...for the Lord hat a sacrifice in Bozrah, and great slaughter in the land of Idumea...For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever.
 

 
A list will reveal the following points of contact between these two prophecies:

 
2 Peter 3:10-12
 
Isaiah 34:1-10
 
Day of the Lord
Heavens & Earth
Heavens pass away
Earth burned
Heavens dissolved
 
Day of Vengeance
Heavens & Earth
Constellations dissolved
Mountains melt
Land turned to brimstone
Streams turned to pitch
Heavens dissolved
 

 
 
 
The merest consideration will show that the language of Isaiah is figurative and describes a time of world-wrath through the agency of men and nations, whose armies exact the vengeance of God. The points of contact between Isaiah and Peter should suffice to show that the latter is also figurative, and that Peter in no way intends us to understand that the physical cosmos would be consumed at Christ’s coming. Indeed, Peter all but says this very thing when he states that judgment he wrote about was for the “perdition of ungodly men” (v. 7). In other words, it is men who oppose the gospel that would be destroyed; appeal to the heavens and earth is merely the stuff of poetic apparatus. Here are two more passages for comparison. This time, let’s use a passage from Matthew:

 
Matthew 24:29, 30
 
Isaiah 13:9-13
 
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
 
 
Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity...Therefore I will shake the heaven, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts and in the day of his fierce anger.
 
 

 
 
 
The Lord’s statements recorded by Matthew are almost exact quotes from Isaiah’s prophecy about the judgment God would visit upon Babylon and the world through the Mede-Persian Empire, which swept like a great storm from the Elam and the Black Sea in the north-east, to Egypt and Red Sea in the south-west, encompassing the whole civilized world. The points of contact between the two passages include the following:

 
Matthew 24:29, 30
 
Isaiah 13:9-13
 
Day of the Lord
Heavens & Earth
Sun & moon darkened
World punished
Heavens shaken, constellations fall
Christ comes in clouds
 
Day of the Lord
Heavens & Earth
Sun & moon darkened
World punished
Heavens shaken, earth moved
Lord comes in wrath
 
 

 
 
 
Let’s make one more comparison and then conclude. This time we will look at language from Ezekiel regarding God’s judgment upon Egypt by Babylon:

 
Luke 21:25-27
 
Ezekiel 30:3-19
 
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
 
The day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen. And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia...And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein...I will set fire in Egypt: Sin shall have great pain, and No shall be rent asunder...At Tehphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yoke of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.
 

 
 
Luke here repeats the prophecy recorded in Matthew’s account of the Olivet Discourse, but so expands the language as to make clear that much more than the fall of Jerusalem was involved in the wrath that would overtake the first-century world. In each of the passages compared, we find a day of the Lord, clouds, heavens and earth, stars moved out of their courses, fire, darkness and dread of doom. Yet, in each case the wrath was confined to men and nations, not the physical cosmos or its elements. Reading these together should make clear that 2 Pet. 3:10-12 is simply one more in the long line of hyperbolic speech used by the prophets to describe heaven’s rod upon a rebellious world.
 
What are the Heavens & Earth?
 
Having compared Peter with the prophets and seen that he continues a long established tradition of figurative speech in describing world events, let us next interpret his symbology.
Preterists have long held that the “heavens and earth” of 2 Pet. 3:10-12 are allusions to Judea and the Mosaic law. This is due to a tendency to interpret the eschaton solely in terms of the fall of Jerusalem (“locally and covenantally”). So many passages emphasize God’s wrath upon the Jews for the murder of Christ and persecution of the gospel that we tend to narrow our focus and overlook events in the rest of the Roman Empire. This is unfortunate. If there is anything that is clear it is that the second coming was a time of world-wrath, in no way confined to Palestine or the Jews. Daniel two and seven are second coming passages and do not mention the Jews at all. Many New Testament epistles speak of Christ’s coming and the saints’ need to be in readiness, which could have no meaning to churches in Europe and Asia if the second coming was limited to the fall of Jerusalem. Thessalonica was in the province of Macedonia, yet Paul told the church there that they would find relief from their persecutors at Christ’s coming (2 Thess 1:4-10). Paul told the Athenians, also in Europe, that God was “about to judge the world” through Jesus Christ (Acts 17:31). John wrote to the seven churches of Asia, exhorting them to abide faithful against Christ’s soon coming. These churches are a thousand miles from Jerusalem. Yet, Jesus told them that his coming would directly impact them. Finally, Peter’s epistle is written to churches in the vicinity of the Black Sea where Christians were suffering, or soon would suffer, persecution. How would the fall of Jerusalem help them? Wasn’t it rather the changes and alterations in the Roman government that would bring relief from their persecutions and not the fall of Jerusalem? These and other considerations argue forcibly against the notion that the second coming was somehow confined to Palestine.
What then do the “heavens and earth” symbolize? If we can think of the world like the canopy of heaven in which governments provide order to the world of men in the way that constellations are hung in the sky and regulate the cycles of nature and the revolution of seasons, we can see how the heavens and earth describe things social and political. The best explanation we have encountered for the symbolism of the heavens and earth is Sir Isaac Newton’s:
 
"The figurative language of the prophets is taken from the analogy between the world natural and an empire or kingdom considered as a world politic. Accordingly, the world natural, consisting of heaven and earth, signifies the whole world politic, consisting of thrones and people, or so much of it as is considered in prophecy; and the things in that world signify the analogous things in this. For the heavens and the things therein signify thrones and dignities, and those who enjoy them: and the earth, with the things thereon, the inferior people; and the lowest parts of the earth, called Hades or Hell, the lowest or most miserable part of them. Great earthquakes, and the shaking of heaven and earth, are put for the shaking of kingdoms, so as to distract and overthrow them; the creating of a new heaven and earth, and the passing of an old one; or the beginning and end of a world, for the rise and ruin of a body politic signified thereby. The sun, for the whole species and race of kings, in the kingdoms of the world politic; the moon, for the body of common people considered as the king's wife; the stars, for subordinate princes and great men; or for bishops and rulers of the people of God, when the sun is Christ. Setting of the sun, moon, and stars; darkening the sun, turning the moon into blood, and falling of the stars, for the ceasing of a kingdom." (Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel, Part i. chap. 2)
 

70-1070AD 2 Peter 3's "Day of the Lord" = "Thousand Years" of Revelation 20

It should be noted that, at the time of writing of both 2 Peter and Revelation around 62AD, the "Day of the Lord" and the "Thousand Years" were each regarded as events about to begin.  This rules against any theories of a Millennium that begins prior to 62AD. 

 

From:  BibleWheel.com

 

From: http://preterism.ning.com/photo/rev-20-2-peter-3

Revelation 20 and 2 Peter 3 are the Same Event.

1 Peter 1:1 church in asia
Rev 1:4 church in asia

1 Peter 2:9 made a preisthood
Rev 1:6, Rev 20:6 kingdom of priests

1 Peter 4:5 ready to judge living and the dead
Rev 11, and 20 judge the living and the dead

1 Peter 1:20 foundation of the world
Rev 13:8 foundation of the world

1 Peter 4:17 judge family of God
Rev 4 warnings against churches

1 Peter 5:13 Babylon
Rev 14, 16, 17, and 18 Babylon

1 Peter 5:8-10 resist Devil, suffer a little while
Rev 20:3 released for a short time

2 Peter 2:4 angels chains
Rev 20:1-3 chains

2 Peter 3:13 new heaven and new earth
Rev 20:11, Rev 21 heaven and earth flee, New heaven and earth

2 Peter 3:8 day a thousand years thousand years a day
Rev 20:2 thousand years

70-1070AD The Day of the Lord in Zechariah 14

From: http://preterism.ning.com/forum/topics/the-day-of-the-lord-in

by Duncan McKenzie
http://www.amazon.com/Antichrist-Second-Coming-Preterist-Examinatio...

The Day of the Lord in Zechariah 14

What makes the interpretation of many of the OT passages concerning the ultimate day of the Lord complicated is the mixture of physical and spiritual fulfillments. The destruction of the land of Israel and Jerusalem that these passages speak of ultimately refers to the destruction and desolation of the Jewish nation that took place in AD 70. This was the time of the great tribulation at the end of the old covenant age (Dan. 11:40-12:7). That nothing unholy (Is. 4:3; Zech. 14:21) nor any alien (Joel 3:17) would enter Jerusalem after this time is not talking about a ban on sinners and foreigners in the physical city of Jerusalem in some future millennial kingdom; it is talking about the New Jerusalem. It is the New Jerusalem bride (those who are part of the new covenant, cf. Rev. 21:9-10)1 that nothing unholy would be able to enter at this time. Only those in the Lamb’s Book of Life are part of her: “And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Rev. 21:27).

THE ULTIMATE DAY OF THE LORD IN ZECHARIAH 14

Zechariah 14 is one of those sections of Scripture that point exclusively to the ultimate day of the Lord. Chapter 14 says that on the day of the Lord the city of Jerusalem would be captured, its women raped (cf. Is. 3:16-4:6), and the invaders (the Romans) would divide up the spoil in Jerusalem’s midst. The defeat of physical Jerusalem would be so complete at this time that the invaders would feel perfectly secure in dividing up the spoils in the city itself:

Behold the day of the Lord is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
Zechariah 14:1-2; cf. Matthew 24:36-44 2


It was at this time that God would come and deliver his true people, the remnant (Zech. 14:3-11). If God is talking about delivering physical Jerusalem in Zechariah 14 he was tragically late, as the city had been plundered and its inhabitants (as well as most of the land of Israel, cf. Zech. 13:8-9) desolated. All that was left in physical Jerusalem was a remnant of raped women (v. 2). It was not physical Jerusalem that would be delivered at this time (at AD 70) but the New Jerusalem bride. The bride was the meek and humble people who would be left in the midst of Jerusalem (cf. Zeph. 3:12; Matt. 5:5). It was the New Jerusalem bride that would no longer have unclean people in her from this time on (Zech. 14:20-21; cf. Rev. 21:27). Consistent with this, Paul said the New Jerusalem and her children would receive their inheritance at the time that Old Jerusalem and her children were cast out (Gal. 4:24-31). We are told that these “things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants . . .” v. 24.

Zechariah goes on in chapter 14 to say that after physical Jerusalem was thoroughly defeated God would come and fight for his people:

Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. You will flee by the Valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, My God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light.
Zechariah 14:3-7 NASB


This sequence is shown in Revelation 17-18 where the Antichrist is allowed to destroy harlot Babylon (i.e., Jerusalem; cf. Rev. 11:8). It is after the destruction of the great city (Rev. 17:18) that God comes with the armies of heaven and fights as on a day of battle (Zech. 14:3) against the beast and his armies. At this time God marries his New Jerusalem bride.

After these things [the destruction of the harlot in Rev. 17-18] I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” . . . And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound on many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His wife has made herself ready” . . . Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war . . . And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean followed Him on white horses.
Revelation 19:1-2, 6-7, 11, 14; cf. 21:9-10


This sequence of God destroying the city of Jerusalem and then marrying his bride can be seen in Matthew 22:1-10. At AD 70 God would send his armies to burn up the city of those who rejected the invitation to his Son’s wedding (v. 7), and then the wedding would go forward with a new people (8-10). Most of physical Israel would be cast out at this time of the messianic banquet at the full establishment of God’s kingdom (Matt. 8:10-12).

PHYSICAL JERUSALEM VS. NEW JERUSALEM

Some will no doubt argue that for me to say that Zechariah 14:1 and part of verse 2 (up to and including the part about the women being raped) is talking about the AD 70 destruction of physical Jerusalem and the rest of the chapter’s references to Jerusalem speak of the deliverance of the New Jerusalem is an inconsistent hermeneutic. This is a legitimate concern; my interpretation does involve a switching from a physical fulfillment to a spiritual fulfillment in verse 2, from physical Jerusalem to the New Jerusalem (the raped women being in physical Jerusalem; the saved remnant in the New Jerusalem; cf. Matt. 24:32-51). I would not even dare to offer such an interpretation if it were not for the fact that the NT backs it up.

The Jerusalem in Zechariah 14:2 in which the raped women are found is clearly physical Jerusalem. According to the book of Revelation, however, the Jerusalem in Zechariah 14:8 that the “living waters” flow out of is the New Jerusalem, the bride (Rev. 21:9-10).

And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one. All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin’s Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security.
Zechariah 14:8-11 NASB


Again, it is the New Jerusalem bride, not physical Jerusalem, which has these waters of life (Zech. 14:8; cf. Rev. 21:27-22:2). It is the New Jerusalem that would be raised up (on a mountain) at this time (Zech 14:10; cf. Rev. 21:9-10). It is the New Jerusalem in which there would “no longer be a curse” (Zech. 14:11 NASB; cf. Rev. 22:3).

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God . . . Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.
Revelation 21:9-10; 22:1-5 NASB


It is the New Jerusalem bride that has the water of life flowing out of her, not physical Jerusalem (cf. John 4:10-14); it is the New Jerusalem that is the abode of the remnant (Zech. 14:2).

And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls.
Joel 2:28-32; cf. Acts 2:17-21


Thus, when the NT is figured into one’s interpretation of Zechariah 14 (something “literalists” consistently neglect to do),3 clearly there is a shift from the raped women of physical Jerusalem in verse 2 to the living waters of New Jerusalem in verse 8.

LIVING WATERS IN JERUSALEM

The living waters Zechariah prophesied of in Jerusalem at this time (Zech. 14:8) are of much deeper spiritual significance than a supposed future river in physical Jerusalem. The living waters that would flow out of the New Jerusalem on the day of the Lord symbolize the life-giving properties of God’s Holy Spirit. Consider Jesus’ reference to the ultimate meaning of the water used in the Feast of Tabernacles (the feast that Zech. 14:16-21 is referring to).

On the last day, that great day of the feast [of Tabernacles], Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive . . . .
John 7:37-39; cf. John 4:10-14


The living waters that flow from Jerusalem which Zechariah 14:8 speaks of are not composed of literal H2O in physical Jerusalem that will flow sometime in the future; they are symbolic of the life-giving properties of God’s Holy Spirit that are flowing today!

And behold I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work . . . And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
Revelation 22:12, 17; cf. Matthew 16:27-28


Similarly, the life-giving properties of water from rain that would be withheld from those who would not acknowledge the Lord from this time forward (Zech. 14:16-17) speak of the water of life that is withheld from those who are not part of the New Jerusalem bride today. To take verses 16-19’s statement about the nations of the world going up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in a literal physical sense is grossly misguided. It should be noted that Jesus taught just the opposite. He said the time was coming (and was already beginning) when people would no longer worship in Jerusalem:

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:21-24


Notice how Jesus talks about living water as a symbol of the life-giving properties of God’s Spirit in this context: “Whoever drinks of this [physical] water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

Despite what many dispensationalists say, we are not going back to Temple worship in some future millennium; indeed it would be blasphemy to do so. For that matter, how, logistically, could hundreds of millions, let alone billions, of people all go up to the Temple to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles/Ingathering? There are not nearly enough airlines in the world to physically get everyone to Jerusalem, let alone room for them when they arrived. Such thinking is foolishness! The ultimate sacrifice has been given by Jesus (cf. Heb. 10:11-18). God wants us to worship him in Spirit and in truth, not go back to the elemental things of the old covenant. The Jerusalem that people need to come to today for living water is the New Jerusalem; they need to become part of the bride (now wife)!
There is a crucial principle of hermeneutics here: the NT needs to be factored into one’s interpretation of the OT; often the interpretation that the NT gives is a spiritual one not a literal physical one. So-called literalists often neglect this principle.

THE MOUNT OF OLIVES SPLIT IN TWO?

As for Zechariah’s images of the Mount of Olives being split in two to make a large valley (vv. 4-5) and Jerusalem being raised in elevation (v. 10), these are yet more examples of the symbolism found in prophetic language. DeMar writes the following along these lines:

In Micah 1:3 we are told that God “is coming forth from His place” to “come down and tread on the high places of the earth.” How is this descriptive language different from the Lord standing on the Mount of Olives with the result that it will split? Micah says “the mountains will melt under Him, and the valleys will be split, like wax before the fire, like water poured down on a steep place” (1:4) . . . [Similarly] Isaiah 40:4 is descriptive of earth-moving events that did not literally take place.
Clear the way of the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley. 4


In Revelation, when John is shown the New Jerusalem bride she comes down out of heaven to an elevated place, to a high mountain (Rev. 21:9-10; cf. Zech. 14:10). Jerusalem being in a high place speaks of both her prominence and her closeness to God (he actually dwells in the midst of his bride today, Rev. 21:1-3; cf. 2 Cor. 6:16). Her elevation is no more literal than the whole world becoming a mountain at the AD 70 full establishment of God’s kingdom in Daniel 2:35, Daniel 2:44.

Daniel and Revelation both use symbolic changes in geography to portray this time of the full establishment of God’s kingdom on earth. When the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven, the sea ceases to exist (Rev. 21:1-2). If literal, this would be catastrophic, as we get most of our rain from the oceans. Without the sea this planet would quickly become a desert wasteland. What Revelation is portraying is that at AD 70 the whole world became the Land (i.e., the Holy Land) as the sea (the domain of the serpent, cf. Is. 27:1; 51:9-10; and abode of the Gentiles, Is. 60:5) ceased to exist at that time.5 This is the symbolic language of apocalyptic Scripture. Just as the mountains did not literally melt nor the valleys literally split at the coming of God against the northern kingdom of Israel in the eighth century BC (Mic. 1:1-6), neither did the Mount of Olives literally split in two at God’s coming on the ultimate day of the Lord at AD 70 (Zech. 14:4-5).

As to what the splitting of the Mount of Olives symbolizes, I believe the seventeenth-century Puritan Matthew Henry was on the right track:

These verses are dark and hard to be understood; but divers good expositors take this to be the meaning of them: God will carefully inspect Jerusalem, even then when the enemies of it are laying it waste: His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, whence he may take a full view of the city and temple, Mk. 13:3 . . . The partition-wall between Jews and Gentiles shall be taken away. The mountains about Jerusalem, and particularly this [the Mount of Olives], signified it to be an enclosure, and that it stood in the way of those who would approach to it. Between the Gentiles and Jerusalem this mountain of Bether, of division, stood, Cant. 2:17. But by the destruction of Jerusalem this mountain shall be made to cleave in the midst, and so the Jewish pale shall be taken down, and the church laid in common with the Gentiles, who were made one with the Jews by the breaking down of this middle wall of partition, Eph. 2:14. Who art thou, O great mountain? . . . A new and living way shall be opened to the new Jerusalem, both to see it and to come into it. The mountain being divided, one-half towards the north and the other half towards the south, there shall be a very great valley, that is, a broad way of communication opened between Jerusalem and the Gentile world, by which the Gentiles shall have free admission into the gospel-Jerusalem, and the word of the Lord, that goes forth from Jerusalem, shall have a free course into the Gentile world. Thus the way of the Lord is prepared, for every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and plain and pleasant valleys shall come in the room of them, Isa. 40:4. 6

Henry’s suggestion that the Mount of Olives splitting speaks of the wall of partition between Jew and Gentile being broken down fits well with the symbol of the sea (the abode of the Gentiles) ceasing to exist and the whole world becoming the Land at AD 70 (Rev. 21:1-2).

Finally, as I noted in my discussion of Daniel 12, the feast of Tabernacles/Ingathering that Zechariah 14 refers to was the last feast in Israel’s yearly cycle. It symbolized the ingathering of God’s people at the end of the old covenant age (cf. Matt. 13:36-43). I believe this feast was fulfilled in AD 70, 1,335 days after the coming of Titus to the Holy Land (the abomination of desolation, cf. Dan. 9:27), Daniel 12:6-12. Believers were gathered into the New Jerusalem (i.e., into the fullness of the new covenant) at this time (cf. Matt. 3:7-12; 24:15-34). This was the time of the full establishment of God’s kingdom, the time when the Lord exercised his kingship over “all the earth” (Zech. 14:9; cf. Dan. 2:44-45; Dan. 7:21-22, 27; Matt. 16:27-28; Rev. 11:15-18).

Endnotes:
1. New Jerusalem is not a physical city. It is not a giant cube in the sky that God’s people live in (its length, breadth, and height are all said to be equal, Rev. 21:16); rather, it is a symbol of the totality of God’s faithful old and new covenant people (Rev. 21:12-14). That the New Jerusalem is cube-shaped is symbolic; the “city” is in the shape of a cube just as the holy of holies in the Temple was cube-shaped (1 Kings 6:20). The New Jerusalem is shaped like the holy of holies to symbolize that God’s presence dwells there (Rev. 21:1-3). The New Jerusalem is the Jerusalem that nothing unclean would enter after Jesus’ parousia (Rev. 21:27; 22:14-15). This is the Jerusalem whose walls would be called “Salvation” and her gates “Praise” (Is. 60:18). This is the Jerusalem that is the “mother” of those who are part of the new covenant (Gal. 4:26; cf. Is. 66:7-13). This is the Jerusalem that her sons and daughters (which would include Gentiles) would be gathered to on the ultimate day of the Lord (Is. 60; 66). This is the Jerusalem that God would be a wall of fire around (Zech. 2:4-5). This was the Jerusalem that no foreigner or anybody who was not holy would ever set foot in again (Joel 3: 17; Zech. 14:20-21; Rev. 21:9-10, 23-27). For a discussion of the concept of the New Jerusalem as a symbol of God’s people see Robert H. Gundry, “The New Jerusalem: People as Place, not Place for People,” Novum Testamentum XXIX, 3 (1987), 257.

2. I believe that Jesus’ reference to one being taken from Jerusalem and one left in Matthew 24:36-44 alludes to the reference to half taken and half left in Zechariah 14:2. The half left refers to the remnant who are left in the New Jerusalem.

3. This discussion brings up an important principle of hermeneutics: the NT is the final interpreter and authority on the meaning of a given OT passage. One has to integrate the NT in one’s interpretation of the OT. Dispensationalists are notorious for ignoring this principle. Too often it conflicts with their literal physical interpretations of Scripture. Dispensationalists usually say that Zechariah 14 is talking about physical changes in geography that will happen in earthly Jerusalem at some time in the future (e.g., the Mount of Olives split in two in v. 4; a life-giving river in v. 8). They see this as the time of the millennium, a time when Jesus will literally sit on David’s throne and physically rule over the world from Israel.

4. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church, 4th ed., 441.

5. This is not teaching any kind of universalism. While the whole world became the kingdom of God at AD 70 (Dan. 7:21-27; Rev. 11:15-18) everybody is not part of the kingdom. In the first century, Rome ruled most of the then known world. Just because a person lived in the Roman Empire, however, did not mean he was necessarily a citizen of the Roman kingdom; indeed most were not. The citizens of the kingdom of God are those who are part of the New Jerusalem bride. These are the ones with access to the tree and water of life (Rev. 22:1-3, 14-15). To be a citizen of the kingdom of God one must come to the Lord (Rev. 22:17).

6. Matthew Henry, "Commentary on Zechariah 14," Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible Crosswalk.com, http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries/MatthewHenryComplete/mhc-co....


The sun being darkened is often used in the context of God judging a nation.

EZEKIEL 30, 32: THE DAY OF THE LORD ON EGYPT

Ezekiel 30 speaks of a day of the Lord in the context of the armies of Babylon invading and defeating Egypt (“For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near; it will be a day of clouds . . . The sword shall come upon Egypt,” Ezek. 30:3-4; cf. Jer. 46). In Ezekiel 32 God talks of how he would fight against Egypt using the Babylonians as his “net’ to capture them and as his “sword” to destroy them.

And it came to pass in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say to him: ‘You are like a young lion among the nations, and you are like a monster in the seas, bursting forth in your rivers, troubling the waters with your feet, and fouling their rivers.’ Thus says the Lord God: ‘I will therefore spread My net over you with a company of many people and they will draw you up in My net. Then I will leave you on the land; I will cast you out on the open fields, and cause to settle on you all the birds of the heavens, and with you I will fill the beasts of the whole earth. I will lay your flesh on the mountains, and fill the valleys with your carcass. I will also water the land with the flow of your blood, even to the mountains; and the riverbeds will be full of you. When I put out your light, I will cover the heavens, and make its stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of the heaven I will make dark over you, and bring darkness upon your land,’ says the Lord God. ‘I will also trouble the hearts of many peoples, when I bring your destruction among the nations, into the countries which you have not known. Yes, I will make many peoples astonished at you, and their kings shall be horribly afraid of you when I brandish My sword before them; and they shall tremble every moment, every man for his own life, in the day of your fall.’ For thus says the Lord God: ‘the sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon you. By the swords of the mighty warriors, all of them the most terrible of the nations, I will cause your multitude to fall. They shall plunder the pomp of Egypt, and all its multitude shall be destroyed. Also I will destroy all its animals from beside its great waters; the foot of man shall muddy them no more, nor shall the hooves of animals muddy them. Then I will make their waters clear, and make their rivers run like oil,’ says the Lord God. ‘When I make the land of Egypt desolate and the country is destitute of all that once filled it, when I strike all who dwell in it, then they shall know that I am Lord.’”
Ezekiel 32:1-15

The day of the Lord on Egypt would be a day of darkness (v. 8); in Ezekiel 30:3 it is said to be “a day of clouds.” God said he would darken the sun, moon, and stars at this time of his judgment on Egypt, c. 568 BC (Ezek. 32:7), that he would bring darkness to its land (cf. Rev. 16:10). Clearly this was not talking about the physical darkening of the luminary objects in the sky; it is symbolic language used to describe the judgment of the Egyptian Empire in the sixth century BC.

ISAIAH 13: THE DAY OF THE LORD ON BABYLON

Isaiah 13 talks of a day of the Lord (“Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand . . . .” v. 6) in the context of the armies of the Medes overthrowing the Babylonian Empire in 539 BC.

Behold the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine . . . Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger . . . Behold I will stir up the Medes against them, who will not regard silver; and as for gold, they will not delight in it. Also their bows will dash the young men to pieces, and they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb. And Babylon, the glory of the kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldean pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
Isaiah 13:9-10, 13, 17-19

Notice the imagery that Isaiah uses for the judgment of the Babylonian Empire: it would involve pain as a woman in childbirth (Is. 13:8; cf. Matt. 24:8 NASB; 1 Thess. 5:3). The sun, moon, and stars would not shine (Is. 13:10; cf. Matt. 24:29). God would shake the heavens and earth (v. 13; cf. Matt. 24:29). Obviously the sun, moon, and stars did not literally quit shining at this time that the Medes overthrew the Babylonians. The planet did not shake at this time. Similar to Ezekiel, Isaiah is using images of celestial and terrestrial upheaval to describe God bringing one nation (the Medes) against another (the Babylonians) to exercise his judgment.

It should be noted that Jesus borrowed from this language describing the fall of Babylon in his prophecy of the fall of Jerusalem: “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heaven will be shaken” (Mark 13:24-25). Wright had the following comments on this: “All this language [in Mark 13:24-25] refers to the fall of Jerusalem, which is to be understood against the scriptural background of the predicted destruction of Babylon.”[Jesus and the Victory of God, 321] Jerusalem had gone from being the persecuted to being the persecutor. She had destroyed God’s ultimate Temple, Jesus (John 2:18-22), and was persecuting God’s people; she had become like pagan Babylon (cf. Rev. 11:8; 17:18). Jesus’ use of this language of cosmic catastrophe to describe the fall of the Jewish nation is no more a literal description of the end of the universe than Scripture’s use of it to describe the sixth-century BC fall of Babylon.

This imagery of the darkening of the sun to indicate the darkening of a kingdom can be seen in Revelation as well. Consider Revelation 16:10, “Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain.” This is not talking about a literal eclipse of the sun that creates darkness; it is talking about the eclipse of a ruler and a kingdom (cf. Ezek. 32:7-8). This judgment is poured out on the throne of the beast. It is referring to how darkness came upon the Roman Empire in AD 68 with the death of Nero. Nero’s death left Rome in the dark; for the next year and a half she would go through a period of confusion and uncertainty. During this time two back-to-back civil wars would be fought as the empire came to the verge of collapse. Vespasian finally brought stability back to the empire when he became emperor at the end of AD 69.

The disagreements between futurists and preterists to a large extent boil down to a disagreement on hermeneutics, how the prophetic/apocalyptic sections of Scripture are to be interpreted. The literalist who says these pictures of cosmic catastrophe are to happen in a literal physical sense needs to examine how they are used in the rest of Scripture (e.g. Dan. 8:10, 24; Rev. 12:3-4)

70-1070AD World History (external support)

.

70-1070AD "Woe to you Chorazin! Woe to you Bethsaida! Woe to you Capernaum!"

PROPHECY
about 29 AD
HISTORY
some time within 70-1070 AD

Matthew 11:20-26
20 Then began he [Jesus] to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.


Luke 10:13-16
13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
14 But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.
15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.

16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

Josephus commented about these places indicating they were still known locations prior to his death in the early 100's AD. Sometime following, during that first thousand years of Christendom, Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum ceased to remain. Since then, historians make educated guesses as to their locations and fates.

CHORAZIN
A  city whose name appears only in the woe pronounced against it by Christ (Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13). Its appearance there, however, shows that it must have been a place of some importance, and highly privileged by the ministry of Jesus. It was already deserted in the time of Eusebius, who places it 2 miles from Capernaum (Onom, s.v.). We can hardly doubt that it is represented by the extensive ruins of Kerazeh, on the heights to the north of Tell Chum. It is utterly desolate: a few carved stones being seen among the heaps. There are traces of a Roman road which connected the ancient city with the great highway between north and south which touched the lake shore at Khan Minyeh.
WILLIAM EWING
(from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia)

BETHSAIDA
— 'house of fishing' or 'fisherman's house']. A town on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. Many scholars believe there were two towns of the same name, one to the east and the other to the west of the Jordan. The precise locations are disputed.
(from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, revised edition, Copyright © 1979 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. All rights reserved.)

CAPERNAUM
Although Jesus centered His ministry in Capernaum, the people of that city did not follow him. Jesus pronounced a curse on the city for its unbelief (Matthew 11:23-24), predicting its ruin (Luke 10:15). So strikingly did this prophecy come true that only recently has Tell Hum been identified confidently as ancient Capernaum.
(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

   

 

70-325AD ANTE-NICENE: the first 1/4 of the Last Day-Millennium

The first 1/4th of the Last Day-Millennium: Inheriting/Conquering the Land & Promises - answers to the Old Testament period of Joshua & Judges

  • This was a period of intense conflict between the recently arrived Heavens' Empire and the outgoing Roman Empire.
  • The Roman Empire recognised early on the arrival of a lethal threat to its survival and mustered every effort to defend itself against the ever-unavoidable influence of Christ's People.
  • The casualty statistics of Christians killed by Romans alongside Romans surrendering to Christ can only be described as a war of super-empires.
  • And within 250 years of Christ's arrival with His Saints around the time of old Jerusalem's destruction, that beast the last, saint-subjugating, idol-worshipping, superpower-empire was driven to its knees to surrender and declare itself now a Christian nation, the first. And every world superpower ever since has been one whose dominant religion is the Religion of Christ. There is neither Biblical evidence nor historical precedent that this trend will ever change.

Revelation 19:11-21

11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven,"Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."

19

And I saw

the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.


NKJV


263-339AD Eusebius: The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eusebius

Eusebius of Caesarea

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Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius of Caesarea

Eusebius of Caesarea (c 263339?[1]) (often called Eusebius Pamphili, "Eusebius [the friend] of Pamphilus") became the bishop of Caesarea in Palaestina c 314.[1] He is often referred to as the father of Church history because of his work in recording the history of the early Christian church, especially Chronicle and Ecclesiastical History.[1] An earlier version of church history by Hegesippus, that he referred to, has not survived.

Contents

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[edit] Biography

His exact date and place of birth are unknown. However, it is estimated that he was born in 265.[2]and little is known of his youth. He became acquainted with the presbyter Dorotheus in Antioch and probably received exegetical instruction from him. In 296 he was in Palestine and saw Constantine who visited the country with Diocletian. He was in Caesarea when Agapius was bishop and became friendly with Pamphilus of Caesarea, with whom he seems to have studied the text of the Bible, with the aid of Origen's Hexapla and commentaries collected by Pamphilus, in an attempt to prepare a correct version.

In 307, Pamphilus was imprisoned, but Eusebius continued their project. The resulting defence of Origen, in which they had collaborated, was finished by Eusebius after the death of Pamphilus and sent to the martyrs in the mines of Phaeno located in modern Jordan. Eusebius then seems to have gone to Tyre and later to Egypt, where he first suffered persecution.

Eusebius is next heard of as bishop of Caesarea Maritima. He succeeded Agapius, whose time of office is not known, but Eusebius must have become bishop soon after 313. Nothing is known about the early years of his tenure. When the Council of Nicaea met in 325, Eusebius was prominent in its transactions. He was not naturally a spiritual leader or theologian, but as a very learned man and a famous author who enjoyed the special favour of the emperor, he came to the fore among the members of the council (traditionally given as 318 attendees). The confession which he proposed became the basis of the Nicene Creed.

Eusebius was involved in the further development of the Arian controversies. For instance he was involved in the dispute with Eustathius of Antioch who opposed the growing influence of Origen, including his practice of an allegorical exegesis of scripture. Eustathius perceived in Origen's theology the roots of Arianism. Eusebius was an admirer of Origen and was reproached by Eustathius for deviating from the Nicene faith - he was even alleged to hold to Sabellianism. Eustathius was accused, condemned and deposed at a synod in Antioch. Part of the population of Antioch rebelled against this action and the anti-Eustathians proposed Eusebius as its new bishop - he declined.

After Eustathius had been removed, the Eusebians proceeded against Athanasius of Alexandria, a more powerful opponent. In 334, Athanasius was summoned before a synod in Caesarea; he did not attend. In the following year, he was again summoned before a synod in Tyre at which Eusebius presided. Athanasius, foreseeing the result, went to Constantinople to bring his cause before the emperor. Constantine called the bishops to his court, among them Eusebius. Athanasius was condemned and exiled at the end of 335. At the same synod, another opponent was successfully attacked: Marcellus of Ancyra had long opposed the Eusebians and had protested against the reinstitution of Arius. He was accused of Sabellianism and deposed in 336. Constantine died the next year, and Eusebius did not long survive him. Eusebius date of death is unknown. It is estimated that he died between 337 and340 after the death of Constantine.[3]

[edit] Works

Of the extensive literary activity of Eusebius, a relatively large portion has been preserved. Although posterity suspected him of Arianism, Eusebius had made himself indispensable by his method of authorship; his comprehensive and careful excerpts from original sources saved his successors the painstaking labor of original research. Hence, much has been preserved, quoted by Eusebius, which otherwise would have been destroyed.

The literary productions of Eusebius reflect on the whole the course of his life. At first, he occupied himself with works on Biblical criticism under the influence of Pamphilus and probably of Dorotheus of Tyre of the School of Antioch. Afterward, the persecutions under Diocletian and Galerius directed his attention to the martyrs of his own time and the past, and this led him to the history of the whole Church and finally to the history of the world, which, to him, was only a preparation for ecclesiastical history.

Then followed the time of the Arian controversies, and dogmatic questions came into the foreground. Christianity at last found recognition by the State; and this brought new problems—apologies of a different sort had to be prepared. Lastly, Eusebius, the court theologian, wrote eulogies in praise of Constantine. To all this activity must be added numerous writings of a miscellaneous nature, addresses, letters, and the like, and exegetical works which include both commentaries and treatises on Biblical archaeology and extend over the whole of his life.

[edit] Biblical text criticism

Pamphilus and Eusebius occupied themselves with the text criticism of the Septuagint text of the Old Testament and especially of the New Testament. An edition of the Septuagint seems to have been already prepared by Origen, which, according to Jerome, was revised and circulated by Eusebius and Pamphilus. For an easier survey of the material of the four Evangelists, Eusebius divided his edition of the New Testament into paragraphs and provided it with a synoptical table so that it might be easier to find the pericopes that belong together. These canon tables or "Eusebian canons" remained in use throughout the Middle Ages, and illuminated manuscript versions are important for the study of early medieval art.

[edit] Chronicle

The two greatest historical works of Eusebius are his Chronicle and his Church History. The former (Greek Παντοδαπὴ Ἱστορία (Pantodape historia), "Universal History") is divided into two parts. The first part (Χρονογραφία (Chronographia), "Annals") gives an epitome of universal history from the sources, arranged according to nations. The second part (Χρονικοὶ Κανόνες (Chronikoi kanones), "Chronological Canons") furnishes a synchronism of the historical material in parallel columns, the equivalent of a parallel timeline.

The work as a whole has been lost in the original, but it may be reconstructed from later chronographists of the Byzantine school who made excerpts from the work with untiring diligence, especially George Syncellus. The tables of the second part have been completely preserved in a Latin translation by Jerome, and both parts are still extant in an Armenian translation. The loss of the Greek originals has given an Armenian translation a special importance; thus, the first part of Eusebius's "Chronicle", of which only a few fragments exist in the Greek, has been preserved entirely in Armenian. The "Chronicle" as preserved extends to the year 325. It was written before the "Church History."

[edit] Church History

In his Church History or Ecclesiastical History (Historia Ecclesiastica), Eusebius attempted according to his own declaration (I.i.1) to present the history of the Church from the apostles to his own time, with special regard to the following points:

  1. the successions of bishops in the principal sees;
  2. the history of Christian teachers;
  3. the history of heresies;
  4. the history of the Jews;
  5. the relations to the heathen;
  6. the martyrdoms.

He grouped his material according to the reigns of the emperors, presenting it as he found it in his sources. The contents are as follows:

  • Book i: detailed introduction on Jesus Christ
  • Book ii: The history of the apostolic time to the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus
  • Book iii: The following time to Trajan
  • Books iv and v: the second century
  • Book vi: The time from Septimius Severus to Decius
  • Book vii: extends to the outbreak of the persecution under Diocletian
  • Book viii: more of this persecution
  • Book ix: history to Constantine's victory over Maxentius in the West and over Maximinus in the East
  • Book x: The reëstablishment of the churches and the rebellion and conquest of Licinius.

In its present form, the work was brought to a conclusion before the death of Crispus (July, 326), and, since book x is dedicated to Paulinus of Tyre who died before 325, at the end of 323, or in 324. This work required the most comprehensive preparatory studies, and it must have occupied him for years. His collection of martyrdoms of the older period may have been one of these preparatory studies.

Eusebius blames the calamities which befell the Jewish nation on the Jews' role in the death of Jesus. This quote has been used to attack both Jews and Christians. See Christianity and anti-Semitism.

"that from that time seditions and wars and mischievous plots followed each other in quick succession, and never ceased in the city and in all Judea until finally the siege of Vespasian overwhelmed them. Thus the divine vengeance overtook the Jews for the crimes which they dared to commit against Christ." (Hist. Eccles. II.6: The Misfortunes which overwhelmed the Jews after their Presumption against Christ) [1]

This is not simply anti-semitism, however. Eusebius levels a similar charge against Christians, blaming a spirit of divisiveness for some of the most severe persecutions.

"But when on account of the abundant freedom, we fell into laxity and sloth, and envied and reviled each other, and were almost, as it were, taking up arms against one another, rulers assailing rulers with words like spears, and people forming parties against people, and monstrous hypocrisy and dissimulation rising to the greatest height of wickedness, the divine judgment with forbearance, as is its pleasure, while the multitudes yet continued to assemble, gently and moderately harassed the episcopacy. (Hist. Eccles. VIII.1: The Events which preceded the Persecution in our Times.) [2]

[edit] Life of Constantine

Eusebius' Life of Constantine (Vita Constantini) is a eulogy or panegyric, and therefore its style and selection of facts are affected by its purpose, rendering it inadequate as a continuation of the Church History. As the historian Socrates Scholasticus said, at the opening of his history that was designed as a continuation of Eusebius, "Also in writing the life of Constantine, this same author has but slightly treated of matters regarding Arius, being more intent on the rhetorical finish of his composition and the praises of the emperor, than on an accurate statement of facts." The work was unfinished at Eusebius' death.

[edit] Minor historical works

Before he compiled his church history, Eusebius edited a collection of martyrdoms of the earlier period and a biography of Pamphilus. The martyrology has not survived as a whole, but it has been preserved almost completely in parts. It contained:

  1. an epistle of the congregation of Smyrna concerning the martyrdom of Polycarp;
  2. the martyrdom of Pionius;
  3. the martyrdoms of Carpus, Papylus, and Agathonike;
  4. the martyrdoms in the congregations of Vienne and Lyon;
  5. the martyrdom of Apollonius.

Of the life of Pamphilus, only a fragment survives. A work on the martyrs of Palestine in the time of Diocletian was composed after 311; numerous fragments are scattered in legendaries which still have to be collected. The life of Constantine was compiled after the death of the emperor and the election of his sons as Augusti (337). It is more a rhetorical eulogy on the emperor than a history but is of great value on account of numerous documents incorporated in it.

[edit] Apologetic and dogmatic works

To the class of apologetic and dogmatic works belong:

  1. the Apology for Origen, the first five books of which, according to the definite statement of Photius, were written by Pamphilus in prison, with the assistance of Eusebius. Eusebius added the sixth book after the death of Pamphilus. We possess only a Latin translation of the first book, made by Rufinus;
  2. a treatise against Hierocles (a Roman governor and Neoplatonic philosopher), in which Eusebius combated the former's glorification of Apollonius of Tyana in a work entitled "A Truth-loving Discourse" (Greek, Philalethes logos);
  3. Praeparatio evangelica ('Preparation for the Gospel'), commonly known by its Latin title, which attempts to prove the excellence of Christianity over every pagan religion and philosophy. The Praeparatio consists of fifteen books which have been completely preserved. Eusebius considered it an introduction to Christianity for pagans. But its value for many later readers is more because Eusebius studded this work with so many fascinating and lively fragments from historians and philosophers which are nowhere else preserved. Here alone is preserved a summary of the writings of the Phoenician priest Sanchuniathon of which the accuracy has been shown by the mythological accounts found on the Ugaritic tables, here alone is the account from Diodorus Siculus's sixth book of Euhemerus' wondrous voyage to the island of Panchaea where Euhemerus purports to have found his true history of the gods, and here almost alone is preserved writings of the neo-Platonist philosopher Atticus along with so much else.
  4. Demonstratio evangelica ('Proof of the Gospel') is closely connected to the Praeparatio and comprised originally twenty books of which ten have been completely preserved as well as a fragment of the fifteenth. Here Eusebius treats of the person of Jesus Christ. The work was probably finished before 311;
  5. another work which originated in the time of the persecution, entitled "Prophetic Extracts" (Eklogai prophetikai). It discusses in four books the Messianic texts of Scripture. The work is merely the surviving portion (books 6-9) of the General elementary introduction to the Christian faith, now lost.
  6. the treatise "On Divine Manifestation" (Peri theophaneias), dating from a much later time. It treats of the incarnation of the Divine Logos, and its contents are in many cases identical with the Demonstratio evangelica. Only fragments are preserved in Greek, but a complete Syriac translation of the Theophania survives in an early 5th century manuscript.
  7. the polemical treatise "Against Marcellus," dating from about 337;
  8. a supplement to the last-named work, entitled "On the Theology of the Church," in which he defended the Nicene doctrine of the Logos against the party of Athanasius.

A number of writings, belonging in this category, have been entirely lost.

[edit] Exegetical and miscellaneous works

Of the exegetical works of Eusebius, nothing has been preserved in its original form. The so-called commentaries are based upon late manuscripts copied from fragments of catenae. A more comprehensive work of an exegetical nature, preserved only in fragments, is entitled "On the Differences of the Gospels" and was written for the purpose of harmonizing the contradictions in the reports of the different Evangelists. While this latter work existed in the 16th century, it has since been lost apart from an epitome. It was also for exegetical purposes that Eusebius wrote his treatises on Biblical archeology:

  1. a work on the Greek equivalents of Hebrew Gentilic nouns;
  2. a description of old Judea with an account of the loss of the ten tribes;
  3. a plan of Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon.

These three treatises have been lost. A work known as the Onomasticon, entitled in the main Greek manuscript "Concerning the Place-names in Sacred Scripture",[4] is still in existence. This is an alphabetical dictionary of Biblical place names, often including identifications with places existing in Eusebius' own time. Further mention is to be made of addresses and sermons some of which have been preserved, e.g., a sermon on the consecration of the church in Tyre and an address on the thirtieth anniversary of the reign of Constantine (336). Of the letters of Eusebius only a few fragments are extant.

[edit] Estimate of Eusebius

[edit] Doctrine

From a dogmatic point of view, Eusebius stands entirely upon the shoulders of Origen and Arius. Like Origen, he started from the fundamental thought of the absolute sovereignty (monarchia) of God. God is the cause of all beings. But he is not merely a cause; in him everything good is included, from him all life originates, and he is the source of all virtue. God sent Christ into the world that it may partake of the blessings included in the essence of God. Christ is God and is a ray of the eternal light; but the figure of the ray is so limited by Eusebius that he expressly emphasizes the self-existence of Jesus.

Eusebius was intent upon emphasizing the difference of the persona of the Trinity and maintaining the subordination of the Son (Logos, or Word) to God (he never calls him theos) because in all contrary attempts he suspected polytheism or Sabellianism. The Son (Jesus), as Arianism asserted, is a creature of God whose generation, for Eusebius, took place before time. Jesus acts as the organ or instrument of God, the creator of life, the principle of every revelation of God, who in his absoluteness and transcendent is enthroned above and isolated from all the world. This Logos, as a derivative creature and not truly God as the Father is truly God, could therefore change (Eusebius, with most early theologians, assumed God was immutable), and he assumed a human body without altering the immutable divine Father. The relation of the Holy Spirit within the Trinity Eusebius explained similarly to that of the Son to the Father. No point of this doctrine is original with Eusebius, all is traceable to his teachers Arius and Origen. The lack of originality in his thinking shows itself in the fact that he never presented his thoughts in a system. After nearly being excommunicated for his heresy by Alexander of Alexandria, Eusebius submitted and agreed to the Nicene Creed at the First Council of Nicaea.

[edit] Limitations

Eusebius is often regarded as the first court appointed Christian theologian in the service of the Constantine Roman Empire, seeing the Empire and the Imperial Church as closely bonded.[3] Notwithstanding the great influence of his works on others, Eusebius was not himself a great historian. [4] His treatment of heresy, for example, is inadequate, and he knew very little about the Western church. His historical works are really apologetics. In his Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 8, chapter 2, he points out, "We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity."

In his Praeparatio evangelica (xii, 31), Eusebius has a section on the use of fictions (pseudos) as a "medicine", which may be "lawful and fitting" to use [5]. With that in mind, it is still difficult to assess Eusebius' conclusions and veracity by confronting him with his predecessors and contemporaries, for texts of previous chroniclers, notably Papias, whom he denigrated, and Hegesippus, on whom he relied, have disappeared; they survive largely in the form of the quotes of their work that Eusebius selected and thus they are to be seen only through the lens of Eusebius.

These and other issues have invited controversy. For example, Jacob Burckhardt has dismissed Eusebus as "the first thoroughly dishonest historian of antiquity". and was not alone in holding such a view. He has also been accused of dishonesty at various times, and in various connections by other historians:

  • Gibbon dismissed his testimony on the number of martyrs and impugned his honesty by referring to two passages. The first occurs in the Ecclesiastical History, book 8, chapter 2, in which Eusebius introduces his discussion of the Great Persecution under Diocletian with: "Wherefore we have decided to relate nothing concerning them except the things in which we can vindicate the Divine judgment. [...] We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity.". And the second, in the Martyrs of Palestine, chapter 12, in which Eusebius makes a long list of events which he says he omits from his text: "I think it best to pass by all the other events which occurred in the meantime: such as [...] the lust of power on the part of many, the disorderly and unlawful ordinations, and the schisms among the confessors themselves; also the novelties which were zealously devised against the remnants of the Church by the new and factious members, who added innovation after innovation and forced them in unsparingly among the calamities of the persecution, heaping misfortune upon misfortune. I judge it more suitable to shun and avoid the account of these things, as I said at the beginning."[5]
  • Gibbon also pointed out that the chapter heading in Eusebius' Praeparatio evangelica (xii, 31), says how fictions (pseudos) — which Gibbon rendered 'falsehoods' — may be a "medicine", which may be "lawful and fitting" to use [6]. But the text is discussing parallels between the Bible and the theories of Plato on education, and Eusebius is suggesting that the Bible also contains such material. Unless it is supposed that Eusebius believes the Bible to be deceptive, it is easy to see why Gibbon confined his remark to the chapter heading (which may not be authorial anyway), and why Gibbon was accused of dishonesty in his attacks on Eusebius.[6] However, it can also be argued that Eusebius would logically have the same thinking when it came to politics, if this was his opinion about mere interpretations of the Bible.
  • Questions were long raised by scholars[attribution needed] about whether all the documents in the Life of Constantine were authentic.[citation needed]

But other views have tended to prevail.

  • Joseph Lightfoot rebutted the arguments of Gibbon[7], pointing out that Eusebius' very frank statements indicate his honesty in stating what he was not going to discuss, and also his limitations as a historian in not including such material. He also discusses the question of accuracy. "The manner in which Eusebius deals with his very numerous quotations elsewhere, where we can test his honesty, is a sufficient vindication against this unjust charge." But he accepts that Eusebius cannot always be relied on. "A far more serious drawback to his value as a historian is the loose and uncritical spirit in which he sometimes deals with his materials. This shews itself in diverse ways. (a) He is not always to be trusted in his discrimination of genuine and spurious documents."
  • G. A. Williamson has written, "Gibbon's notorious sneer ... was effectively disposed of by Lightfoot, who fully vindicated Eusebius' honour as a narrator 'against this unjust charge'."[7]
  • Averil Cameron and Stuart Hall, in their recent translation of the Life of Constantine point out that writers such as Burckhardt found it necessary to attack Eusebius in order to undermine the ideological legitimacy of the Hapsburg empire, which based itself on the idea of Christian empire derived from Constantine, and that the most controversial letter in the Life has since been found among the papyri of Egypt.[8]
  • Michael J. Hollerich, replying to Burckhardt's criticism of Eusebius, thinks that criticisms goes too far. Writing in "Church History" (Vol. 59, 1990), he says that ever since Burckhardt, "Eusebius has been an inviting target for students of the Constantinian era. At one time or another they have characterized him as a political propagandist, a good courtier, the shrewd and worldly adviser of the Emperor Constantine, the great publicist of the first Christian emperor, the first in a long succession of ecclesiastical politicians, the herald of Byzantinism, a political theologian, a political metaphysician, and a caesaropapist. It is obvious that these are not, in the main, neutral descriptions. Much traditional scholarship, sometimes with barely suppressed disdain, has regarded Eusebius as one who risked his orthodoxy and perhaps his character because of his zeal for the Constantinian establishment." He concludes that "the standard assessment has exaggerated the importance of political themes and political motives in Eusebius's life and writings and has failed to do justice to him as a churchman and a scholar".

While many have shared Burckhardt's assessment, particularly with reference to the Life of Constantine, others, while not pretending to extol his merits, have acknowledged the irreplaceable value of his works. The value of his works has generally been sought in the copious quotations that they contain from other sources, often lost.

[edit] See also

Preceded by
Agapius
Bishop of Caesarea
ca. 313-339/340
Succeeded by
Acacius

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ a b c Wetterau, Bruce. World history. New York: Henry Holt and company. 1994.
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of the Early Church, Published in 1992, English Version, page 299
  3. ^ The Essential Eusebius page 31. Published by Mentor-Omega Book in New yYork and Toronto. Year of publication 1966
  4. ^ C. Umhau Wolf [1971] (2006). The Onomasticon of Eusebius Pamphili Compared with the Version of Jerome and Annotated. The Tertullian Project, p. xx. Retrieved on 2007-12-08.
  5. ^ Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall, vol. 1, chapter 16
  6. ^ See Gibbon's Vindication for examples of the accusations that he faced.
  7. ^ G. A. Williamson, Eusebius of Caesarea: Church History Penguin Books, 1965, introduction.
  8. ^ Averil Cameron, Stuart G. Hall, Eusebius' Life of Constantine. Introduction, translation and commentary. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Pp. xvii + 395. ISBN 0-19-814924-7. Reviewed in BMCR

[edit] References

  • "Eusebius Of Caesarea." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2005. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 4 December 2005. Reference cited for statement that Eusebius was not a great historian.
  • Initial text from Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religion, subjected to edits for style.

[edit] External links

[edit] Online works

[edit] Other links

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272-337AD Roman Emperor Constantine: the first Christian world leader

From: http://preteristarchive.com/Theo-Political_Empire/Roman/StudyArchive/con...

Constantine the.. Preterist!


Constantine I The Great, Emperor
Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus
275-337

"This remarkable event (the Edict of Milan) was regarded by Christians of that time, and by Constantine himself, as the fulfillment of the very prophecy before us. (Revelation 20:2)"

Eusebius Pamphilius: Oration in Praise of Constantine "I am filled with wonder at the intellectual greatness of the emperor, who as if by divine inspiration thus expressed what the prophets had foretold concerning this monster"

First Christian ruler of the Roman Empire

"imitate without delay the example of (your) sovereign, and embrace the divine truth of Christianity"

Constantine I came to the throne when his father, Constantius, died in 306. After defeating his rivals, Constantine became the sole ruler of the Roman Empire in 324, and is credited with social and economic reforms that significantly influenced medieval society. In 313 his Edict of Milan legally ended pagan persecution of Christians, and in 325 he used imperial power to bring unity to the church at the Council of Nicea. He also moved the capital of his empire to Byzantium, renaming it Constantinople in 330. Constantine's embrace of Christianity eventually led him to be baptized in 337.

Eusebius Pamphilius
"
Chapter III.--Of his Picture surmounted by a Cross and having beneath it a Dragon.

And besides this, he caused to be painted on a lofty tablet, and set up in the front of the portico of his palace, so as to be visible to all, a representation of the salutary sign placed above his head, and below it that hateful and savage adversary of mankind, who by means of the tyranny of the ungodly had wasted the Church of God, falling headlong, under the form of a dragon, to the abyss of destruction. For the sacred oracles in the books of God's prophets have described him as a dragon and a crooked serpent; [Especially the book of Revelation, and Isaiah] and for this reason the emperor thus publicly displayed a painted resemblance of the dragon beneath his own and his children's feet, stricken through with a dart, and cast headlong into the depths of the sea.

In this manner he intended to represent the secret adversary of the human race, and to indicate that he was consigned to the gulf of perdition by virtue of the salutary trophy placed above his head. This allegory, then, was thus conveyed by means of the colors of a picture: and I am filled with wonder at the intellectual greatness of the emperor, who as if by divine inspiration thus expressed what the prophets had foretold concerning this monster, saying that "God would bring his great and strong and terrible sword against the dragon, the flying serpent; and would destroy the dragon that was in the sea." [Isa. xxvii.] This it was of which the emperor gave a true and faithful representation in the picture above described." (Oration in Praise of Constantine)

Isaiah 27:1
"In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea."

Revelation 12:3
And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. 7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. 13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

Revelation 13
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

Revelation 20:2
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Preterist Commentaries By Historicist / Continuists

Jonathan Edwards
"This revolution was the greatest revolution and change in the face of things that ever came to pass in the world since the flood. Satan, the prince of darkness, that king and god of the heathen world, was cast out. The roaring lion was conquered by the Lamb of God in the strongest dominion that ever he had, even the Roman Empire." (Work of Redemption, Period 3, Section 2)

William S. Urmy in "Christ Came Again"

Israel P. Warren in "The Parousia"




CHRISTIAN COINAGE
UNDER
CONSTANTINE

Numismatic Chronicle - Constantine (1877 PDF)
"The type of these pieces and the inscription indicate how the "public hope" was centered in the triumph of the Christian religion over the adversary of mankind -- "the great dragon, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan" (Rev. xii. 9 ; xx. 2), and Eusebius tells us how Constantine I had a picture painted of the dragon -- the flying serpent -- beneath his own and his children's feet, pierced through the middle with a dart, and cast into the depths of the sea."


Old coins and their contribution. Considerable disparity exists among historians about the time of Constantine’s conversion to Christianity and about the details of his momentous vision. There is also debate as to whether history can be deduced from the study of old coins or numismatics in general. It appears that in all three cases, the ultimate judgment must rest with each student, depending upon the degree of penetration and the quality of study applied. Verifiable facts -- the external evidence -- do not always explain the meaning of historical events or their internal significance. The interpretation of history is often a subjective involvement, as historians tend to provide their own understanding and interpretations.

An exemplary case of historical interpretation based on ancient coinage and existing literature is the following essay by the distinguished Constantinian Knight Commander, Craig Peter Barclay, M.A., M.Litt. The author has served as Keeper of Numismatics at the Yorkshire Museum in York, U.K. and has previously held curatorial positions at the Royal Mint and University of Aberdeen.

______________________

Hoc Signo Victor Eris: By
Craig Barclay

In a world without newspapers and television, the circulating coinage provided a potent means for ruling authorities to disseminate political and religious propaganda. Few such authorities have been more conscious of the potential value of this medium than the Roman emperors, and it can be argued that none of those made more effective use of it than Constantine the Great.

As the first emperor to embrace the Christian faith, we might expect that Constantine’s religious convictions would figure prominently on the coinage of his reign. The degree to which this was actually the case has provoked great deal of scholarly argument and, in so doing, has provided a number of fascinating insights into the development of religious symbolism in the fledgling Christian Empire.

General

As Andrew Alfoldi has rightly observed (p. 41), ‘The coin types of the period are, in every case, mere feeble copies of those great works of art that have not come down to us.’ Nevertheless, he would contend, they have also provided us with ‘absolute proof that the Emperor embraced the Christian cause with a suddenness that surprised all but his most intimate colleagues.’ (Alfoldi, pp. 1-2)

(Fig. 1) Constantine the Great; bronze follis; AD 337-40

A more recent scholar, Andrew Burnett, however argues that representations of pagan gods only disappear from Constantine’s coinage after AD 318 and, even then, the designs that replaced them were primarily religiously neutral in content. ‘The only explicitly Christian coin designs were the representations of the emperor in an attitude of prayer, and a very rare design used by the mint of Constantinople in about 327, showing a banner with a chi-rho monogram spearing a serpent, representing his enemy Licinius.’ (Burnett, p. 145)


Clearly the nature and significance of the designs used by Constantine on his coinage are open to more than one interpretation. We must accordingly address the complex question: ‘Can we see the Christian faith of Constantine the Great reflected in his coinage?’

Sol Invictus

Flavius Valerius Constantinus was born in about AD 285 at Naissus in Serbia, the son of the Tetrarch Constantius I and his wife, the Empress Helena. After spending his early years as an effective hostage at the courts of Diocletian and his successor Galerius, Constantine escaped to the west, joining his father in York shortly before the latter’s death on 25 July AD 306. Proclaimed emperor by the army at York, Constantine spent the next eighteen years disposing of his rivals for control of the empire through an elaborate series of shifting political alliances and military campaigns.


During the early part of his reign representations of first Mars and then, from AD 310, Apollo-Sol dominated Constantine’s coinage. Mars had been intimately associated with the Tetrarchy, and Constantine’s use of this symbolism served to emphasise the legitimacy of his rule. After his breach with his father’s old colleague Maximian in AD 309-10, Constantine began to claim legitimate descent from the third-century emperor Claudius Gothicus. Gothicus had claimed the divine protection of the Apollo-Sol . As Burnett notes (pp. 143-44), in AD 310 Constantine experienced a vision in which Apollo-Sol appeared to him with omens of success. ‘Thereafter his coinage was dominated for several years by "his companion the unconquered Sol", SOLI INVICTO COMITI.’

(Fig. 2) Constantine the Great; bronze follis; AD 316-17

According to Lactantius, just prior to the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in AD 312, Constantine experienced a dream-vision urging him to trust the fate of his army to the Christian God, and to place the symbol of the monogrammatic cross on the shields of his army. In his Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius’s account of Constantine’s vision differs slightly, claiming that Constantine experienced a vision at the beginning of his military campaign wherein the symbol of the cross appeared on the face of the sun, accompanied by the Greek words, ‘In this sign conquer’. Subsequently, Eusebius tells us, Constantine experienced a second vision, in which he was urged to use the Christian sign to protect himself from his foes. In response to this latter vision, Constantine had a labarum or standard produced, bearing the name of Christ in the form of a monogram of the Greek letters X and P (the Chi-Rho).


Whatever the detail, Constantine duly placed his trust in the Cross and duly defeated his imperial rival, Maxentius, on the outskirts of Rome itself. Nevertheless, in the wake of this great victory, no immediate change took place in the basic design of the coinage, with issues celebrating Sol Invictus continuing to form the bulk of the circulating medium. Indeed, as Vermeule (p. 180) explains, even in AD 313, on the very eve of the Edict of Toleration, Constantine was still portrayed on huge gold medallions in the company of Sol Invictus and bearing a shield decorated with a representation he sun-god’s chariot.


Nevertheless, after the final defeat of Licinius, the pagan gods disappeared from the coinage of Constantine, their place being taken by religiously neutral images. The question might be asked as to why Constantine did at last begin to make extensive use of specifically Christian images at this time but, as Runciman (p. 17) bluntly reminds us, ‘The earliest Christians took little interest in art.’


Accordingly, during the early 4th century AD, there were few artistic motifs available that could be relied upon to convey a specifically Christian message. Even the Chi-Rho, which is today universally recognised as a Christian sign, could be misinterpreted, Bruun (p. 61) reminding us that, ‘The sign, at the moment of its creation, was ambiguous. In essence it was a monogram composed of the Greek letters X and P, and, while the monogrammatic combination of these two letters was by no means unusual in pre-Constantinian times, the occurrence of X P with a clearly Christian significance is exceedingly rare.’ The potential significance of the sign would initially have been lost on the non Greek-speaking population of the empire, who might more readily have interpreted the sign as being linked to Solar or Mithraic worship.


Such initial ambiguities notwithstanding, there can be no doubt that Constantine saw his victorious sign as being an explicitly Christian symbol nor that, in the wake of the writings of Eusebius and Lactantius, its religious meaning came rapidly to be universally recognised. Constantine made only sparing use of the Chi-Rho on his coins, confining its use to a few scarce issues only. Following his death however, this most powerful symbol came to be used increasingly frequently, both as a means of celebrating the religious convictions of the succeeding emperors, and as a means of affirming the legitimacy of their succession from Constantine.

(Fig. 3) Eudoxia; gold solidus; AD 397-402

Although also adopted by Constantine’s sons, the most prominent early use of the Chi-Rho occurred during the reign of the usurper Magnentius (AD 350-53), who struck large bronze double centenionales decorated with a large Christogram flanked by the Greek letters alpha and omega. Thereafter the symbol appeared time after time on the coinages of both the western and eastern empires, its position as the primary symbol of the new state religion only gradually being superseded by the plain, unadorned Cross.

Constantinus Orans

As the image of the emperor most commonly seen by the public, the portrait of the emperor reproduced on the imperial coinage was considered to be of the utmost importance. Constantine’s coinage portraits break away from the traditions of the previous two centuries, calling upon both earlier Imperial and Greek precedents for inspiration. The Imperial beard, which had been sported by almost all emperors since the beginning of the second century, was abandoned and replaced by a clean shaven image. Likewise, the laurel wreath or solar crown which had dominated the coinages of the second and third centuries were dropped in favour of an eastern diadem, or, less frequently, a military helmet.

(Fig. 4) Constantine the Great; gold solidus; AD 326

One particular version of the new imperial image has attracted particular attention. Eusebius (4.15) was quite explicit in his statement that Constantine was portrayed on his coinage in an attitude of prayer: ‘He directed his likeness to be stamped on a gold coin with his eyes uplifted in the posture of prayer to God … this coin was current through the Roman world and was a sign of the power of divine faith.’ Burnett recognises this passage as important evidence implying ‘that important members of the higher social classes noticed coin designs’, adding that ‘There can hardly be any doubt that Eusebius had seen the coins in question’.

(Fig. 5) Constantine the Great; gold solidus; AD 326-27

Not all authors have accepted these coins as representing the emperor’s devotion to the Christian faith and, as L’Orange has pointed out (1947, p.34), the ‘heaven-gazing’ coin portraits of Constantine have been the subject of numerous interpretations, including an argument that it should be interpreted as a representation of the Sol-emperor Constantine fixing his gaze upon the goddess Luna. L’Orange (1947, p.94) would consequently argue that, ‘Constantine as Christian orant is, therefore, an arbitrary interpretation of his heavenward-looking portrait. This does not however alter the fact that the type became for Christians, perhaps owing to the very weight of Eusebius’ authority, an expression of Constantine’s inspired relation to their own God, a representation of the Christ-emperor.’


This argument has in part been fuelled by the undoubted fact that the so-called Constantinus orans portrait type is ultimately derived from pagan prototypes first seen during the reign of the Hellenic monarch Alexander the Great (Toynbee, p. 148). Bruun (p. 33), who does not accept that the coin type bears any specific Christian significance, nevertheless concedes that the heavenward-gazing portraits of Constantine recall ‘portraits of the Hellenistic ruler, whose heavenward look expresses the inner contact between the emperor and the heavenly powers.’


Most however have been more than content to recognise the Christian spirituality of these most beautiful images. The heavenward-gazing portrait is not peculiar to the coinage and Alfoldi (p. 34) recalls that ‘Apart from the monogram of salvation, the statues, paintings, and coin-types displayed, throughout the Empire, the gaze of the "most religious Majesty", directed heavenward’. The same point has been effectively argued by L’Orange (1965, pp. 123-24), who noted in writing of a colossal head of Constantine from the Palazzo dei Conservatori in Rome that ‘The eyes, being supernaturally large and wide-open and framed by the accentuated concentric curves of the deepcut lids and brows, express more clearly than ever the transcendence of the ruler’s personality. In this gaze he travels far beyond his physical surroundings and attains his goal in a higher sphere, in contact and identity with the governing powers. Providence in person, the irresistible controller of fate, fatorum arbiter, rises before us, with all the future on his knees.’


Yet another distinguished scholar likewise observes that, ‘Long before his formal conversion to Christianity Constantine had associated himself with purely Christian policy, and his finer portrait show the upward-tilted head of the man with his mind on the heavens, or the facing head, dazzling within its halo, of the world’s half-Christian master.’ (Sutherland, p. 103). Irrespective of the pagan origins of the orant portrait it had, through its adoption by Constantine, come to express a wholly new significance. ‘The outward forms of expression remain very much as before … But the inner meaning has completely changed. The pagan Emperor was never clearly distinguished in nature from the deity whose vice-regent he was: hence the divine attributes and all his pomp and state. The maiestas of the Christian Emperor, the "vicarius Dei", is wholly derivative: between him and his God there is a fixed and impassable gulf, that between the creature and his Creator, which God-given Grace alone can bridge.’ (Toynbee, p. 149)


It is significant that the orant portrait was used not only on coins of Constantine himself, but also on coins struck during his reign in the names of is appointed successors (L’Orange 1947, p. 91). After his death in AD 337 however, Constantine’s sons made only very limited use of the highly distinctive portrait, perhaps regarding it as being a reflection of their father’s personal relationship with his God.


If the orant portrait did not long survive the death of Constantine, other stylistic elements of his coin portraits did. From this point onwards the imperial image reproduced on the coinage ceased to attempt accurately to reproduce the actual features of the living monarch. Instead the portraits became mere ciphers, representing a stylised rather than personal image of imperial majesty. All of these images nevertheless borrowed heavily from Constantinian prototypes adopting, for example, the eastern diadem and clean-shaven features of the first Christian emperor. Indeed, the clean shaven portrait came so closely to be associated with the new faith that when the pagan emperor Julian the Apostate (AD 360-63) briefly gained the throne, he swiftly adopted a bearded portrait in order to disassociate himself from his Christian predecessors. With Julian’s death, shaven portraits once again became the norm, remaining so until long after the fall of Rome.

Helmet

Alfoldi (p. 27), in arguing that Constantine’s religious policy was not based on ‘conscious ambiguity’, states that the appearance of the Chi-Rho on Constantine’s helmet ‘on issues of coins from all quarters, soon after the defeat of Maxentius, loudly and unmistakably claimed where Constantine stood.’ He further asserts that, ‘We can prove beyond a doubt, by the evidence of coin types appearing soon after, that Constantine caused the monogram of Christ to be inscribed on his helmet before the decisive battle with Maxentius’. (Alfoldi, p. 17)


Alfoldi (pp. 39-40) further states, in defence of the significance of the Chi-Rho that, ‘Eusebius knows that Constantine not only bore the Christian symbol on his helmet in the fight against Maxentius, but continued to wear it in his golden, bejewelled helmet of state. When … the representation of this helmet, that was new in its pattern, soon appears on the coins, we cannot possibly regard it as a mere sign of zeal on the part of Christian subordinates. The tiniest detail of the imperial dress was the subject of a symbolism that defined rank, that was hallowed by tradition and regulated by precise rules. Anyone who irresponsibly tampered with it would have incurred the severest penalties. Especially would this have been the case if anyone, without imperial authority, had provided the head-gear of the Emperor with a sign of such serious political importance as that attached to the monogram of Christ’.


A very similar position has been adopted by Voght (p. 90), who explains that, ‘we have other witnesses to the piety of the new ruler of Rome and from these we learn that Constantine gave public expression to his gratitude to his divine patron. The magnificent silver medallion, whose obverse and reverse depict the conquest and liberation of the city, was probably struck at the mint of Ticinum (near modern Milan) as early as 313: and on the obverse the monogram appears, on the crested plume of Constantine’s helmet. In a prestige issue of this type, the incorporation of the Christ-monogram into the portrait of the emperor could only have been done on the highest authority.’


Burnett (p. 146) similarly draws attention to the same silver medallion (actually struck at Rome or Aquileia in AD 315) and a series of small bronze coins struck at Siscia in c. AD 320. On all of these, the emperor is clearly portrayed with the Chi-Rho symbol prominently displayed on his helmet. ‘It is indeed hard to disassociate them from Eusebius’s explicit statement that Constantine placed the Chi-Rho on his helmet, but the very occasional nature of its appearance on coins should make us cautious about making too much of this. On coins issued in about 322 at Trier, for instance, the chi-rho appears as the decoration on the shield held by Constantine’s son Crispus; but it happened on only one die and must represent the personal choice of a die engraver, as the other shields for the same group of coins have different sorts of decoration on the shields.’


Even Bruun (p. 63), who is dismissive of the appearance of the Christogram on some Victoriae laetae princ perp coins of Siscia (describing them as ‘engraver’s slips’), accepts the symbolic significance of the use of the same symbol on the silver medallions of AD 315, writing that, ‘The silver multiples with their facing portraits represent an altogether different case. The Chi-Rho is here set in a badge just below the root of the crest. The official character of the badge has recently been demonstrated in a convincing manner. No doubt, therefore, persists about the meaning of the new emblem: the emperor has adopted his own victorious sign as a symbol of power.’

Labarum

The mint of Constantinople was in operation by AD 327, some three years before the formal dedication of the city. A series of bronze coins of that year celebrate the defeat of Licinius. The reverse of this issue bears the legend Spes Publica, and portrays a serpent being pierced by a Chi-Rho topped labarum.

For Alfoldi (p. 39), ‘The spectacle of the Christian monogram on works of art and coin-types, the blaze of the initials of Christ on the labarum, the new imperial banner, were all propaganda in the modern sense’. Even Bruun (p. 64), whilst generally dismissive of the existence of Christian symbols on the coinage of Constantine, is forced to concede that ‘The problem of the labarum piercing the dragon on the Constantinopolitan Spes publica bronzes remains.’

Whilst rarely used during Constantine’s reign, the Christian labarum becomes a frequent and recurrent feature of the coinage following his death, normally being closely associated with a representation of a victorious emperor. One particular issue, struck at Siscia in AD 350, makes specific reference to Constantine’s vision, bearing the labarum accompanied by the legend Hoc Signo Victor Eris - ‘In this sign shalt thou conquer’.

(Fig. 6) Constantius II; bronze coin of Siscia; AD 350

Mintmarks

During the Roman period coins were struck at a large number of mints situated throughout the empire. As a quality-control mechanism, the coins struck by each of these mints were required to bear distinctive mintmarks, identifying their place of manufacture. The decision to use the Chi-Rho or other apparently Christian symbols as mintmarks on some of Constantine’s coins is dismissed by Bruun (p. 62) as being the responsibility of procurators or, in one case, the rationalis summarum. Approval to use these symbols was given ‘very far from the emperor and court and comes sacrarum largitionum.’


Burnett (pp. 145-46) likewise acknowledges that the Chi-Rho appears on a number of issues of coins ‘as one of the stock symbols used for mint-marks’, but - like Bruun - argues that its use is more likely to reflect the rise of Christian administrators to positions of authority in Constantine’s regime rather than an official policy decision. Even if not centrally authorised, the first use of Christian mintmarks can accordingly be seen to be of the greatest significance, illustrating as it does the shift in the status of Christians within the machinery of the Roman state. Not surprisingly, in the years that followed, the choice of both the Chi-Rho and the plain Cross came increasingly to form a key element of the privy marks adopted by the empire’s numerous mints.

Cross-sceptre

On 17 May AD 330 Constantine dedicated his new eastern capital of Constantinople. Alfoldi (p. 110) draws attention to ‘the small bronze coins and medallions, issued in mass, on which the sceptre of the "Tyche", the goddess who personifies the city, is shown the globe of Christ - which means to say that the new capital is the ideal centre of the Christian world-empire.’ As Alfoldi (p. 116) explains, ‘On the shoulder of the personification of the New Rome is shown the globe of the world, set on the cross of Christ, symbolising the new capital of Christendom.’


Bruun (p. 63) is dismissive of Alfoldi’s interpretation of the supposed ‘cross-sceptre’ carried by the personification of Constantinopolis. On the basis of an examination of related issues, he argues convincingly that the ‘globe’ is no more than the globular end of a reversed spear, and that the cross-bar seen on many coins is in fact merely a two-dimensional representation of what was, in reality, a three-dimensional disc. Bruun accordingly contends that these issues convey no intended Christian significance.

(Fig. 7) Valentinian III; gold solidus; AD 455

Nevertheless, the supposed cross-sceptre was subsequently perceived by many to have possessed a Christian significance and, its original neutral status notwithstanding, it came to serve as a symbol of the Church in its own right. On the coinage, this survival is well demonstrated by an issue of large bronzes struck in the name of Valentinian II at Rome in AD 378-83. On these rare coins the emperor is portrayed bearing a cross sceptre tipped with a globular Chi-Rho, whilst on other later issues, the cross-sceptre is shown in a greatly simplified form.

Divus Constantinus

After his death in AD 337, Constantine was deified by the Senate, his sons issuing commemorative coins in his name in the traditional style. Eusebius (4.37) records that, "A coin … (had) on one side a figure of our blessed prince, with head closely veiled; the reverse showed him sitting as a charioteer drawn by four horses, with a hand stretched downward from above to receive him up to heaven".

(Fig. 8) Constantine the Great; posthumous bronze coin; AD 337-40

Burnett (p. 146) observes that the iconography of his metamorphosis, as represented on the coins struck to commemorate it, was Christianised: ‘Previous emperors had ridden up to heaven in a chariot; Constantine was received by the manus dei. The "hand of God" was, with the Chi-Rho monogram, one of the most important Christian symbols to appear on the coinage of the late empire.’ By way of illustration, a very similar image to that appearing on the coins of the deified Constantine may be observed on one of the panels of the early 5th century door of the Church of S. Sabina in Rome. There the Ascension of Elijah is portrayed, the prophet being conveyed heavenwards in a chariot with the divine assistance of an angel. The manus dei also appears on many coins, frequently crowning the emperor or his consort with a diadem or laurel wreath.

(Fig. 9) Galla Palacidia; gold solidus; AD 426-30

Conclusion

Whilst there can be little dispute that the Coinage of Constantine the Great did indeed express his religious convictions, it is equally true that it was not exceptionally rich in Christian symbolism. As Bruun (p. 64) reminds us however, ‘There was no independently Christian artistic tradition. The Christian ideas now about to conquer the State had to employ old means to express new conceptions.’

(Fig. 10) Honorius; gold solidus; AD 422

Constantine was nevertheless recognised by his contemporaries and near-contemporaries as the first Christian emperor, and through the writings of Eusebius, certain elements of his coinage came inextricably to be associated with the triumphant faith. As Bruun correctly records, ‘The victor is the official interpreter of history, and Christianity was the true victor of the Milvian Bridge and Chrysopolis. Thus Constantine’s victorious sign, his helmet, his seeming cross-sceptre and the aura around his head were adopted by posterity as Christian symbols, Christian signs of power.’ The Cross truly had triumphed.

(Fig. 11) Valentinian III; gold tremissis; AD 425-55

Bibliography

Alfoldi, A. (1948) The Conversion of Constantine and Pagan Rome, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bowder, D. (ed.) (1980) Who Was Who in the Roman World, Oxford: Phaidon.

Bruun, P. (1966) The Roman Imperial Coinage Vol. VII: Constantine and Licinius AD 313-337, London: Spink

Burnett, A. (1987) Coinage in the Roman World, London: Seaby.

Carson, R.A.G. (1981) Principal Coins of the Romans Vol. III: The Dominate, AD 294-498, London: British Museum Press.

L’Orange, H.P. (1947) Apotheosis in Ancient Portraiture, Oslo: Aschehoug.

L’Orange, H.P. (1965) Art Forms and Public Life in the late Roman Empire, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Parker, H.M.D. & Warmington, B.H. (1958) A History of the Roman World AD 138 to 337 (2nd ed.), London: Methuen.

Runciman, S. (1975) Byzantium: Style and Civilisation, London: Penguin.

Sutherland, C.H.V. (1955) Art in Coinage: The Aesthetics of Money from Greece to the Present Day, London: Batsford.

Toynbee, J.M.C. (1947) ‘Ruler Apotheosis in Ancient Rome’, Numismatic Chronicle.

Vermeule, C. (1978) ‘The Imperial Shield as a Mirror of Roman Art on Medallions and Coins’ in Carson, C. & Kraay, C.M. (eds.) Scripta Nummaria Romana: Essays Presented to Humphrey Sutherland, London: Spink.

Voght, J. (1965) The Decline of Rome: The Metamorphosis of Ancient Civilisation, London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson.

Christian Symbolism on the Coinage of Constantine the Great

313AD Edict of Milan (Edict of Toleration): Roman Empire signs peace deal with Christendom

Revelation 19:11-21
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven,"Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."

19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
NKJV

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edict_of_Milan

Edict of Milan

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The Edict of Milan was a letter signed by emperors Constantine and Licinius, that proclaimed religious toleration in the Roman Empire. The letter was issued in 313AD, shortly after the conclusion of the Diocletian Persecution.

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[edit] Discussion

While it is true that Constantine and Licinius must have discussed religious policy when they met at Milan in February 313, the text usually called the Edict of Milan is in fact a letter to the Governor of Bithynia of June 313, one of a series of letters issued by Licinius in the territory he conquered from Maximinus in 313. Both toleration and restitution had already been granted by Constantine in Gaul, Spain and Britain (in 306), and by Maxentius in Italy and Africa (in 306 [toleration] and 310 [restitution]). Galerius and Licinius had enacted toleration in the Balkans in 311, and Licinius probably extended restitution there in early 313. Thus the letters which Licinius issued in the names of himself and Constantine (as was routine for imperial documents, which were formally issued in the names of all legitimate co-rulers) were designed solely to enact toleration and restitution in Anatolia and Oriens, which had been under the rule of Maximinus.

The Edict, in the form of a joint letter to be circulated among the governors of the East,[1] declared that the Empire would be neutral with regard to religious worship, officially removing all obstacles to the practice of Christianity and other religions.[2] It "declared unequivocally that the co-authors of the regulations wanted no action taken against the non-Christian cults."[3]

Christianity had previously been decriminalized in April 311 by Galerius, who was the first emperor to issue an edict of toleration for all religious creeds, including Christianity.[4] The Christian historian Philip Schaff noted that the second edict went beyond the first edict of 311: "it was a decisive step from hostile neutrality to friendly neutrality and protection, and prepared the way for the legal recognition of Christianity, as the religion of the empire."[5]The wording of the Edict reveals that such developments, however, remained in the future. The letter gives detailed instructions to the governor for the restitution of sequestered Christian property.

The Edict of Milan transformed the status of Christianity, as it initiated the period known by Christian historians as the Peace of the Church, and it has been interpreted by Christians as officially giving imperial favor to Christianity, as Constantine became the first emperor to actually promote and grant favors to the Church and its members.[6] The document itself does not survive.

[edit] History

The Edict of Milan was issued in 313 AD, in the names of the Roman Emperors Constantine I, who ruled the western parts of the Empire, and Licinius, who ruled the east. The two augusti were in Milan to celebrate the wedding of Constantine's sister with Licinius.

Remains of the Imperial palace of Mediolanum (Milan). The imperial palace (mainly built by Maximianus, colleague of Diocletian) was a large complex with several buildings, gardens, courtyards, for Emperor's private and public life, for his court, family and imperial burocracy
Remains of the Imperial palace of Mediolanum (Milan). The imperial palace (mainly built by Maximianus, colleague of Diocletian) was a large complex with several buildings, gardens, courtyards, for Emperor's private and public life, for his court, family and imperial burocracy

A previous edict of toleration had been recently issued by the emperor Galerius from Serdica and posted up at Nicomedia on 30 April, 311. By its provisions, the Christians, who had "followed such a caprice and had fallen into such a folly that they would not obey the institutes of antiquity", were granted an indulgence.

Wherefore, for this our indulgence, they ought to pray to their God for our safety, for that of the republic, and for their own, that the commonwealth may continue uninjured on every side, and that they may be able to live securely in their homes.

By the Edict of Milan the meeting places and other properties which had been confiscated from the Christians and sold or granted out of the government treasury were to be returned:

...the same shall be restored to the Christians without payment or any claim of recompense and without any kind of fraud or deception...

It directed the provincial magistrates to execute this order at once with all energy, so that public order may be restored and the continuance of the Divine favor may "preserve and prosper our successes together with the good of the state."

The actual edicts have not been retrieved inscribed upon stone. However, they are quoted at length in a historical work with a theme of divine retribution, Lactantius' De mortibus persecutorum ("Deaths of the persecutors"), who gives the Latin text of both Galerius's Edict of Toleration as posted up at Nicomedia on 30 April 311, and of Licinius's letter of toleration and restitution addressed to the governor of Bithynia, posted up also at Nicomedia on 13 June 313. Eusebius of Caesarea translated both into Greek in his History of the Church (Historia Ecclesiastica). His version of the letter of Licinius must derive from a copy as posted up in Palestine (probably at Caesarea) in the late summer or early autumn of 313, but the origin of his copy of Galerius's edit of 311 is unknown, since that does not seem to have been promulgated in Palestine.

[edit] References

  1. ^ It brought the governance of the Eastern Empire into line with the tolerance now operating in Constantine's dominions in the West. The Edict's context in Constantine's career is explored in John Curran, "Constantine and the Ancient Cults of Rome: The Legal Evidence" Greece & Rome 2nd Series 43.1 (April 1996, pp 68-80): Edict of Milan, p. 68f.
  2. ^ "...we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made we that we may not seem to detract from any dignity or any religion." Edict of Milan as quoted by Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum ("On the Deaths of the Persecutors") chapters 34, 35.
  3. ^ Curran 1996:69, quoting the Edict: "This we have done to ensure that no cult or religion may seem to have been impaired by us."
  4. ^ Lactantius, op. cit.. The theme of the work is the divine retribution that befell the perpetrators of the persecution ended by the decree of Galerius.
  5. ^ History of the Christian Church, chapter II, section 25 on-line text "The Edicts of Toleration. a.d. 311–313".
  6. ^ "In the Ecclesiastical History, the Panegyric on Constantine and the life of Constantine... the guiding idea of Eusebius is the establishment of a Christian empire, of which Constantine was the chosen instrument" (J.B. Bury, editor, Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. II, Appendix, p. 359).

[edit] External links

313AD --> : The Peace of the Church

Revelation 19:11-21
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven,"Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."

19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
NKJV

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_of_the_Church

Peace of the Church

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Peace of the Church is a designation usually applied to the condition of the Church after the publication of the Edict of Milan in 313 by the two Augusti, Western Roman Emperor Constantine I and his eastern colleague Licinius, an edict of toleration by which the Christians were accorded complete liberty to practise their religion without molestation.

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[edit] Antecedents

The Roman state had always granted its Pagan polytheistic cult the status of state religion, and the same social elite (originally mainly Patricians) provided its major priests as well as its politicians and generals. For centuries this was easily compatible with the Pagan religions of conquered peoples, whose divinities were generally equated to Roman ones or adopted into the Roman Pantheon. But just as pharaoh Echnaton's monotheistic cult of Aton proved incompatible with Egypt's traditional polytheism, the Judeo-Christian instistence on Yahweh being the only God, believing all other gods are false gods, could not be fitted into the system that had allowed religious peace throughout the empire. The massive spread of Christians, first looked on merely as Jewish schismatics, over most provinces and Rome itself, and most of all their refusal of the state-imposed emperor cult, was logically perceived as a threat not just to the state cult, but to the state itself, leading to systematical persecution.

A new stage was reached when, in the middle of the third century, the Church as such was made the object of attack. This attitude, inaugurated by Emperor Decius (249 - 251), made the issue at stake clear and well-defined. The imperial authorities convinced themselves that the Christian Church and the Pagan Roman State could not co-exist; henceforth but one solution was possible, the destruction of Christianity or the conversion of Rome. For half a century the result was in doubt. The failure of Diocletian (284-305) and his Tetrarchy colleagues in the last and bloodiest persecution to shake the resolution of the Christians or to annihilate the Church left no course open to prudent statesmen but to recognize the inevitable and to abandon the old concept of government, the union of civil power and Paganism.

The first decisive step in this direction was taken by the beaten and implacable Galerius, who published from Nicomedia in 311 an edict of toleration in which he confessed that the efforts to "reclaim the Christians" had failed. This edict was the result of utter impotency to prolong the contest against Christendom, the Church.

[edit] Constantine's Edict

Complete amnesty and freedom were attained two years later when Emperor Constantine, after defeating Maxentius, published early in 313 with his colleague Licinius the famous Edict of Milan by which Christians were guaranteed the fullest liberty in the practice of their religion.

The absolute independence of religion from state interference, which formed the keynote of this famous document, produced (much later) a new concept of society, and may be looked on as the first official expression of what afterwards came to be the medieval idea of the State. It was in Western Europe the first declaration on the part of any one vested with civil authority that the State should not interfere with the rights of conscience and religion.

In addition to removing the ban from the Christians, Constantine ordered that the property of which they had been deprived during the persecutions by seizure or confiscation should be returned to them at the expense of the State. For the Christians the immunities and guaranties contained in this act had most important results. Then for the first time it became possible to observe publicly the liturgy in its fullness, and seriously and earnestly to attempt to mould the life of the Roman Empire according to Christian ideals and standards. The joy of the Christians at this change in their public status is admirably expressed by Eusebius in his "Church History" (X, ii).

[edit] See also

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This article incorporates text from the entry Peace of the Church in the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.

Byzantium: the Lost Empire - 2 DVD set

From: http://www.amazon.com/Byzantium-Lost-Empire-John-Romer/dp/B000QGE86A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1298683438&sr=8-1

 For more than 1,000 years, the Byzantine Empire was the eye of the entire world – the origin of great literature, fine art and modern government. Heir to Greece and Rome, the Byzantine Empire was also the first Christian empire. Now, after a year of filming on three continents, TLC unlocks this ancient civilization, spanning 11 centuries and three continents. Pass through the gates of Constantinople, explore the magnificent mosque of Hagia Sophia and see the looted treasures of the empire now located in St. Marks, Venice.

325-590AD NICENE and POST-NICENE: 2nd 1/4th of the Last Day-Millennium

This period answers to the Old Testament period of Kings & Chronicles

325-590AD Overview

(from Schaff's History of the Church, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

NICENE AND POST-NICENE CHRISTIANITY (A.D. 311-590)

From Constantine the Great to Gregory the Great
A.D. 311-600


1. Introduction and General View.

From the Christianity of the Apostles and Martyrs we proceed to the Christianity of the Patriarchs and Emperors.
The third period of the history of the Church, which forms the subject of this volume, extends from the emperor Constantine to the pope Gregory I.; from the beginning of the fourth century to the close of the sixth. During this period Christianity still moves, as in the first three centuries, upon the geographical scene of the Graeco-Roman empire and the ancient classical culture, the countries around the Mediterranean Sea. But its field and its operation are materially enlarged, and even touch the barbarians on the limit of the empire. Above all, its relation to the temporal power, and its social and political position and import, undergo an entire and permanent change. We have here to do with the church of the Graeco-Roman empire, and with the beginning of Christianity among the Germanic barbarians. Let us glance first at the general character and leading events of this important period.

The reign of Constantine the Great marks the transition of the Christian religion from under persecution by the secular government to union with the same; the beginning of the state-church system. The Graeco-Roman heathenism, the most cultivated and powerful form of idolatry, which history knows, surrenders, after three hundred years' struggle, to Christianity, and dies of incurable consumption, with the confession: Galilean, thou hast conquered! The ruler of the civilized world lays his crown at the feet of the crucified Jesus of Nazareth. The successor of Nero, Domitian, and Diocletian appears in the imperial purple at the council of Nice as protector of the church, and takes his golden throne at the nod of bishops, who still bear the scars of persecution. The despised sect, which, like its Founder in the days of His humiliation, had not where to lay its head, is raised to sovereign authority in the state, enters into the prerogatives of the pagan priesthood, grows rich and powerful, builds countless churches out of the stones of idol temples to the honor of Christ and his martyrs, employs the wisdom of Greece and Rome to vindicate the foolishness of the cross, exerts a molding power upon civil legislation, rules the national life, and leads off the history of the world. But at the same time the church, embracing the mass of the population of the empire, from the Caesar to the meanest slave, and living amidst all its institutions, received into her bosom vast deposits of foreign material from the world and from heathenism, exposing herself to new dangers and imposing upon herself new and heavy labors.

The union of church and state extends its influence, now healthful, now baneful, into every department of our history.
The Christian life of the Nicene and post-Nicene age reveals a mass of worldliness within the church; an entire abatement of chiliasm with its longing after the return of Christ and his glorious reign, and in its stead an easy repose in the present order of things; with a sublime enthusiasm, on the other hand, for the renunciation of self and the world, particularly in the hermitage and the cloister, and with some of the noblest heroes of Christian holiness.

Monasticism, in pursuance of the ascetic tendencies of the previous period, and in opposition to the prevailing secularization of Christianity, sought to save the virgin purity of the church and the glory of martyrdom by retreat from the world into the wilderness; and it carried the ascetic principle to the summit of moral heroism, though not rarely to the borders of fanaticism and brutish stupefaction. It spread with incredible rapidity and irresistible fascination from Egypt over the whole church, east and west, and received the sanction of the greatest church teachers, of an Athanasius, a Basil, a Chrysostom, an Augustine, a Jerome, as the surest and shortest way to heaven.

It soon became a powerful rival of the priesthood, and formed a third order, between the priesthood and the laity. The more extraordinary and eccentric the religion of the anchorets and monks, the more they were venerated among the people. The whole conception of the Christian life from the fourth to the sixteenth century is pervaded with the ascetic and monastic spirit, and pays the highest admiration to the voluntary celibacy, poverty, absolute obedience, and excessive self-punishments of the pillar-saints and the martyrs of the desert; while in the same degree the modest virtues of every-day household and social life are looked upon as an inferior degree of morality.

In this point the old Catholic ethical ideas essentially differ from those of evangelical Protestantism and modern civilization. But, to understand and appreciate them, we must consider them in connection with the corrupt social condition of the rapidly decaying empire of Rome. The Christian spirit in that age, in just its most earnest and vigorous forms, felt compelled to assume in some measure an anti-social, seclusive character, and to prepare itself in the school of privation and solitude for the work of transforming the world and founding a new Christian order of society upon the ruins of the ancient heathenism.

In the development of doctrine the Nicene and post-Nicene age is second in productiveness and importance only to those of the apostles and of the reformation. It is the classical period for the objective fundamental dogmas, which constitute the ecumenical or old Catholic confession of faith. The Greek church produced the symbolical definition of the orthodox view of the holy Trinity and the person of Christ, while the Latin church made considerable advance with the anthropological and soteriological doctrines of sin and grace. The fourth and fifth centuries produced the greatest church fathers, Athanasius and Chrysostom in the East, Jerome and Augustine in the West. All learning and science now came into the service of the church, and all classes of society, from the emperor to the artisan, took the liveliest, even a passionate interest, in the theological controversies. Now, too, for the first time, could ecumenical councils be held, in which the church of the whole Roman empire was represented, and fixed its articles of faith in an authoritative way.

Now also, however, the lines of orthodoxy were more and more strictly drawn; freedom of inquiry was restricted; and all as departure from the state-church system was met not only, as formerly, with spiritual weapons, but also with civil punishments. So early as the fourth century the dominant party, the orthodox as well as the heterodox, with help of the imperial authority practised deposition, confiscation, and banishment upon its opponents. It was but one step thence to the penalties of torture and death, which were ordained in the middle age, and even so lately as the middle of the seventeenth century, by state-church authority, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, and continue in many countries to this day, against religious dissenters of every kind as enemies to the prevailing order of things. Absolute freedom of religion and of worship is in fact logically impossible on the state-church system. It requires the separation of the spiritual and temporal powers. Yet, from the very beginning of political persecution, loud voices rise against it and in behalf of ecclesiastico-religious toleration; though the plea always comes from the oppressed party, which, as soon as it gains the power, is generally found, in lamentable inconsistency, imitating the violence of its former oppressors. The protest springs rather from the sense of personal injury, than from horror of the principle of persecution, or from any clear apprehension of the nature of the gospel and its significant words: "Put up thy sword into the sheath" (John 18:11); "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36).

The organization of the church adapts itself to the political and geographical divisions of the empire. The powers of the hierarchy are enlarged, the bishops become leading officers of the state and acquire a controlling influence in civil and political affairs, though more or less at the expense of their spiritual dignity and independence, especially at the Byzantine court. The episcopal system passes on into the metropolitan and patriarchal. In the fifth century the patriarchs of Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem stand at the head of Christendom. Among these Rome and Constantinople are the most powerful rivals, and the Roman patriarch already puts forth a claim to universal spiritual supremacy, which subsequently culminates in the mediaeval papacy, though limited to the West and resisted by the constant protest of the Greek church and of all non-Catholic sects. In addition to provincial synods we have now also general synods, but called by the emperors and more or less affected, though not controlled, by political influence.

From the time of Constantine church discipline declines; the whole Roman world having become nominally Christian, and the host of hypocritical professors multiplying beyond all control. Yet the firmness of Ambrose with the emperor Theodosius shows, that noble instances of discipline are not altogether wanting.

Worship appears greatly enriched and adorned; for art now comes into the service of the church. A Christian architecture, a Christian sculpture, a Christian painting, music, and poetry arise, favoring at once devotion and solemnity, and all sorts of superstition and empty display. The introduction of religious images succeeds only after long and violent opposition. The element of priesthood and of mystery is developed, but in connection with a superstitious reliance upon a certain magical operation of outward rites. Church festivals are multiplied and celebrated with great pomp; and not exclusively in honor of Christ, but in connection with an extravagant veneration of martyrs and saints, which borders on idolatry, and often reminds us of the heathen hero-worship not yet uprooted from the general mind. The multiplication and accumulation of religious ceremonies impressed the senses and the imagination, but prejudiced simplicity, spirituality, and fervor in the worship of God. Hence also the beginnings of reaction against ceremonialism and formalism.

Notwithstanding the complete and sudden change of the social and political circumstances of the church, which meets us on the threshold of this period, we have still before us the natural, necessary continuation of the pre-Constantine church in its light and shade, and the gradual transition of the old Graeco-Roman Catholicism into the Germano-Roman Catholicism of the middle age.
Our attention will now for the first time be turned in earnest, not only to Christianity in the Roman empire, but also to Christianity among the Germanic barbarians, who from East and North threaten the empire and the entire civilization of classic antiquity. The church prolonged, indeed, the existence of the Roman empire, gave it a new splendor and elevation, new strength and unity, as well as comfort in misfortune; but could not prevent its final dissolution, first in the West (A.D. 476), afterwards (1453) in the East. But she herself survived the storms of the great migration, brought the pagan invaders under the influence of Christianity, taught the barbarians the arts of peace, planted a higher civilization upon the ruins of the ancient world, and thus gave new proof of the indestructible, all-subduing energy of her life.

In a minute history of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries we should mark the following subdivisions:

1. The Constantinian and Athanasian, or the Nicene and Trinitarian age, from 311 to the second general council in 381, distinguished by the conversion of Constantine, the alliance of the empire with the church, and the great Arian and semi-Arian controversy concerning the Divinity of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

2. The post-Nicene, or Christological and Augustinian age, extending to the fourth general council in 451, and including the Nestorian and Eutychian disputes on the person of Christ, and the Pelagian controversy on sin and grace.

3. The age of Leo the Great (440-461), or the rise of the papal supremacy in the West, amidst the barbarian devastations which made an end to the western Roman empire in 476.

4. The Justinian age (527-565), which exhibits the Byzantine state-church despotism at the height of its power, and at the beginning of its decline.

5. The Gregorian age (590-604) forms the transition from the ancient Graeco-Roman to the mediaeval Romano-Germanic Christianity, and will be more properly included in the church history of the middle ages.


(from Schaff's History of the Church, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Anti-chiliasm's triumph over Chiliasm: the expectation, then realization of the 1000 Year Millennium during the Middle Age

"Another important division of historical interpreters is into Post-Millennarians and Pre-Millennarians, according as the millennium predicted in Revelation 20 is regarded as part or future. Augustin committed the radical error of dating the millennium from the time of the Apocalypse or the beginning of the Christian era (although the seer mentioned it near the end of his book), and his view had great influence; hence the wide expectation of the end of the world at the close of the first millennium of the Christian church. Other post-millennarian interpreters date the millennium from the triumph of Christianity over paganism in Rome at the accession of Constantine the Great (311);"

(Excerpted from Schaff's History of the Church, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

["Radical error" or not is open to debate. (Philip Schaff went on to embrace historical Preterism, noting his own change of doctrinal position in later editions of this work.) But without argument, St. Augustin dated Rev 20:1-10’s “1000 Years” from the time of the writing of Revelation ("The Apocalypse" in Latin) or the beginning of the Christian era to the end of the first millennium of the Christian church. This view was so widely held during the Middle Age that there was wide expectation of the end of the world at 1000AD, the close of the first millennium of the Christian church. I agree with St. Augustin, (354-430AD), that he was living during the 1000-year Millennium of Rev 20:1-10.~jwr

"Luther struck the key-note of this anti-popery exegesis. He had at first a very low opinion of the Apocalypse, and would not recognize it as apostolic or prophetic (1522), but afterward he utilized for polemic purposes (in a preface to his edition of the N. T. of 1530). He [Martin Luther] dated the one thousand years (Revelation 20:7) with Augustin from the composition of the book, and the six hundred and sixty-six years from Gregory VII., as the supposed founder of the papacy, and understood Gog and Magog to mean the unspeakable Turks and the Jews. As Gregory VII. was elected pope 1073, the anti-Christian era ought to have come to an end A.D. 1739; but that year passed off without any change in the history of the papacy."
(Excerpted from Schaff's History of the Church, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
Martin Luther, following Augustin, Rev 20:1-10’s “1000 Years” from “the composition of the book [of Revelation] to the year 1073AD, when Gregory VII was elected Pope. Luther then expected an anti-Christian era (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7-9 period of Satan’s release) to expend from 1073AD to 666 years later. I do not see how Luther got 666 years for the period of Satan's release, but I can see how he might calculate 1073AD to be the end of the 1000 Year Millennium - that makes Augustin and Luther's Millennium from that last great defeat at Masada in 73AD to a literal 1000 years later when Gregory VII became Pope, greatly extending papal claims, launching the Crusades, which in turn provoked foreign invaders, who brought Black Death Plague with them, etc., inaugurating the Dark Age that ended with the heavenly fires of the Reformation/Rennaissance/Discovery of the New World/Modern Era. I agree with Martin Luther, (1483-1546AD), that he was living in the period that followed Rev 20:1-10's "1000 years." ~jwr

MILLENNIUM : Latin MILLE, thousand + Latin ANNUS, year


§ 158. Chiliasm.

The most striking point in the eschatology of the ante-Nicene age is the prominent chiliasm, or millennarianism, that is the belief of a visible reign of Christ in glory on earth with the risen saints for a thousand years, before the general resurrection and judgment. 227 It was indeed not the doctrine of the church embodied in any creed or form of devotion, but a widely current opinion of distinguished teachers, such as Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Methodius, and Lactantius; while Caius, Origen, Dionysius the Great, Eusebius (as afterwards Jerome and Augustin) opposed it.

[They opposed it because, by the time they came along, the time for expecting it had passed and they preached that it had already come, being presently enjoyed in their own times]~jwr

The Jewish chiliasm rested on a carnal misapprehension of the Messianic kingdom, a literal interpretation of prophetic figures, and an overestimate of the importance of the Jewish people and the holy city as the centre of that kingdom. It was developed shortly before and after Christ in the apocalyptic literature, as the Book of Enoch, the Apocalypse of Baruch, 4th Esdras, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, and the Sibylline Books. It was adopted by the heretical sect of the Ebionites, and the Gnostic Cerinthus. 228
The Christian chiliasm is the Jewish chiliasm spiritualized and fixed upon the second, instead of the first, coming of Christ. It distinguishes, moreover, two resurrections, one before and another after the millennium, and makes the millennial reign of Christ only a prelude to his eternal reign in heaven, from which it is separated by a short interregnum of Satan. The millennium is expected to come not as the legitimate result of a historical process but as a sudden supernatural revelation.
The advocates of this theory appeal to the certain promises of the Lord, 229 but particularly to the hieroglyphic passage of the Apocalypse, which teaches a millennial reign of Christ upon this earth after the first resurrection and before the creation of the new heavens and the new earth. 230
In connection with this the general expectation prevailed that the return of the Lord was near, though uncertain and unascertainable as to its day and hour, so that believers may be always ready for it. 231 This hope, through the whole age of persecution, was a copious fountain of encouragement and comfort under the pains of that martyrdom which sowed in blood the seed of a bountiful harvest for the church.
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 eighth and eternal day in a new world, of which the Lord's Day (called by Barnabas "the eighth day") is the type. 232
Papias of Hierapolis, …
Justin Martyr represents the transition from the Jewish Christian to the Gentile Christian chiliasm. He speaks repeatedly of the second parousia of Christ in the clouds of heaven, surrounded by the holy angels. It will be preceded by the near manifestation of the man of sin (‎a&nqrwpo$ th=$ a)nomi/a$‎) who speaks blasphemies against the most high God, and will rule three and a half years. He is preceded by heresies and false prophets. 234 Christ will then raise the patriarchs, prophets, and pious Jews, establish the millennium, restore Jerusalem, and reign there in the midst of his saints; after which the second and general resurrection and judgment of the world will take place. He regarded this expectation of the earthly perfection of Christ's kingdom as the key-stone of pure doctrine, but adds that many pure and devout Christians of his day did not share this opinion. 235 After the millennium the world will be annihilated, or transformed. 236 In his two Apologies, Justin teaches the usual view of the general resurrection and judgment, and makes no mention of the millennium, but does not exclude it. 237 The other Greek Apologists are silent on the subject, and cannot be quoted either for or against chiliasm.
Irenaeus, …
Tertullian was an enthusiastic Chiliast, and pointed not only to the Apocalypse, but also to the predictions of the Montanist prophets. 239 But the Montanists substituted Pepuza in Phrygia for Jerusalem, as the centre of Christ's reign, and ran into fanatical excesses, which brought chiliasm into discredit, and resulted in its condemnation by several synods in Asia Minor. 240
After Tertullian, and independently of Montanism, chiliasm was taught by Commodian towards the close of the third century, 241 Lactantius, 242 and Victorinus of Petau, 243 at the beginning of the fourth. Its last distinguished advocates in the East were Methodius (d., a martyr, 311), the opponent of Origen, 244 and Apollinaris of Laodicea in Syria.

We now turn to the anti-Chiliasts. The opposition began during the Montanist movement in Asia Minor. Caius of Rome attacked both Chiliasm and Montanism, and traced the former to the hated heretic Cerinthus. 245 The Roman church seems never to have sympathized with either, and prepared itself for a comfortable settlement and normal development in this world. In Alexandria, Origen opposed chiliasm as a Jewish dream, and spiritualized the symbolical language of the prophets. 246 His distinguished pupil, Dionysius the Great (d. about 264), checked the chiliastic movement when it was revived by Nepos in Egypt, and wrote an elaborate work against it, which is lost. He denied the Apocalypse to the apostle John, and ascribed it to a presbyter of that name. Eusebius inclined to the same view.

But the crushing blow [to Chiliasm] came from the great change in the social condition and prospects of the church in the Nicene age. After Christianity, contrary to all expectation, triumphed in the Roman empire, and was embraced by the Caesars themselves, the millennial reign, instead of being anxiously waited and prayed for, began to be dated either from the first appearance of Christ, or from the conversion of Constantine and the downfall of paganism, and to be regarded as realized in the glory of the dominant imperial state-church. Augustin, who himself had formerly entertained chiliastic hopes, framed the new theory which reflected the social change, and was generally accepted. The apocalyptic millennium he understood to be the present reign of Christ in the Catholic church, and the first resurrection, the translation of the martyrs and saints to heaven, where they participate in Christ's reign. 248 It was consistent with this theory that towards the close of the first millennium of the Christian era there was a wide-spread expectation in Western Europe that the final judgment was at hand.

From the time of Constantine and Augustin chiliasm took its place among the heresies and was rejected subsequently even by the Protestant reformers as a Jewish dream. But it was revived from time to time as an article of faith and hope by pious individuals and whole sects, often in connection with historic pessimism, with distrust in mission work, as carried on by human agencies, with literal interpretations of prophecy, and with peculiar notions about Antichrist, the conversion and restoration of the Jews, their return to the Holy Land, and also with abortive attempts to calculate "the times and seasons" of the Second Advent, which "the Father hath put in his own power" (Acts 1:7), and did not choose to reveal to his own Son in the days of his flesh. ...

["From the time of Constantine and Augustin chiliasm took its place among the heresies..." Chiliasm was the expectation that the 1000 Year Millennium was still future rather than a present reality. And that expectation suddenly died when the reality of Constantine's victory took there breath away, compelling them to wake up to the fact that they were already living in the 1000 Year Millennium. And the continued expectation of a future millennium, chiliasm, "took its place among the heresies." Hallelujah!]


203. Victorinus of Petau.
Victorinus, …
1. The fragment on the Creation of the World is a series of notes on the account of creation, probably a part of the commentary on Genesis mentioned by Jerome. The days are taken liberally. The creation of angels and archangels preceded the creation of man, as light was made before the sky and the earth. The seven days typify seven millennia; the seventh is the millennial sabbath, when Christ will reign on earth with his elect. It is the same chiliastic notion which we found in the Epistle of Barnabas, with the same opposition to Jewish sabbatarianism. Victorinus compares the seven days with the seven eyes of the Lord (Zechariah 4:10), the seven heavens (comp. Psalms 33:6), the seven spirits that dwelt in Christ (Isaiah 11:2,3), and the seven stages of his humanity: his nativity, infancy, boyhood, youth, young-manhood, mature age, death. This is a fair specimen of these allegorical plays of a pious imagination.
2. The scholia on the Apocalypse of John are not without interest for the history of the interpretation of this mysterious book. 404 But they are not free from later interpolations of the fifth or sixth century. The author assigns the Apocalypse to the reign of Domitian (herein agreeing with Irenaeus), and combines the historical and allegorical methods of interpretation. He also regards the visions in part as synchronous rather than successive. He comments only on the more difficult passages. 405 We select the most striking points.
The woman in ch. 12 is the ancient church of the prophets and apostles; the dragon is the devil. The woman sitting on the seven hills (in ch. 17), is the city of Rome. The beast from the abyss is the Roman empire; Domitian is counted as the sixth, Nerva as the seventh, and Nero revived as the eighth Roman King. 406 The number 666 (13:18) means in Greek Teitan 407 (this is the explanation preferred by Irenaeus), in Latin Diclux. Both names signify Antichrist, according to the numerical value of the Greek and Roman letters. But Diclux has this meaning by contrast, for Antichrist, "although he is cut off from the supernal light, yet transforms himself into an angel of light, daring to call himself light." 408 To this curious explanation is added, evidently by a much later hand, an application of the mystic number to the Vandal king Genseric (‎gensh/riko$‎) who in the fifth century laid waste the Catholic church of North Africa and sacked the city of Rome.
The exposition of ch. 20:1-6 is not so strongly chiliastic, as the corresponding passage in the Commentary on Genesis, and hence some have denied the identity of authorship. The first resurrection is explained spiritually with reference to Colossians 3:1, and the author leaves it optional to understand the thousand years as endless or as limited. Then he goes on to allegorize about the numbers: ten signifies the decalogue, and hundred the crown of virginity; for he who keeps the vow of virginity completely, and fulfils the precepts of the decalogue, and destroys the impure thoughts within the retirement of his own heart, is the true priest of Christ, and reigns with him; and "truly in his case the devil is bound." At the close of the notes on ch. 22, the author rejects the crude and sensual chiliasm of the heretic Cerinthus. "For the kingdom of Christ," he says, "is now eternal in the saints, although the glory of the saints shall be manifested after the resurrection." This looks like a later addition, and intimates the change which Constantine's reign produced in the mind of the church as regards the millennium. Henceforth it was dated from the incarnation of Christ.
(Excerpts from Schaff's History of the Church, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

325AD First Council of Nicaea

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea

First Council of Nicaea

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First Council of Nicaea
Date325
Accepted byRoman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Assyrian Church of the East, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Calvinism
Previous councilnone considered ecumenical
Next councilFirst Council of Constantinople
Convoked by{{{convoked_by}}}
Presided bySt. Alexander of Alexandria
Attendance250-318 (only five from Western Church)
Topics of discussionArianism, celebration of Passover (Easter), Miletian schism, validity of baptism by heretics, lapsed Christians
Documents and statementsOriginal Nicene Creed and about 20 decrees
Chronological list of Ecumenical councils

The First Council of Nicaea, held in Nicaea in Bithynia (present-day Iznik in Turkey), convoked by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in 325, was the first Ecumenical council[1] of the early Christian Church, and most significantly resulted in the first uniform Christian doctrine, called the Nicene Creed. With the creation of the creed, a precedent was established for subsequent 'general (ecumenical) councils of Bishops' (Synods) to create statements of belief and canons of doctrinal orthodoxy— the intent being to define unity of beliefs for the whole of Christendom.

The purpose of the council was to resolve disagreements in the Church of Alexandria over the nature of Jesus in relationship to the Father; in particular, whether Jesus was of the same substance as God the Father or merely of similar substance. St. Alexander of Alexandria and Athanasius took the first position; the popular presbyter Arius, from whom the term Arian controversy comes, took the second. The council decided against the Arians overwhelmingly (of the estimated 250-318 attendees, all but 2 voted against Arius). Another result of the council was an agreement on when to celebrate the resurrection (Pascha in Greek; Easter in modern English), the most important feast of the ecclesiastical calendar. The council decided in favour of celebrating the resurrection on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox, independently of the Hebrew Calendar (see also Quartodecimanism). It authorized the Bishop of Alexandria (presumably using the Alexandrian calendar) to announce annually the exact date to his fellow bishops.

The Council of Nicaea was historically significant because it was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom.[2] "It was the first occasion for the development of technical Christology."[2] Further, "Constantine in convoking and presiding over the council signaled a measure of imperial control over the church."[2] Further, a precedent was set for subsequent general councils to create creeds and canons.

Contents

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[edit] Character and purpose

Constantine the Great summoned the bishops of the Christian Church to Nicaea to address divisions in the Church. (mosaic in Hagia Sophia, Constantinople, c. 1000)
Constantine the Great summoned the bishops of the Christian Church to Nicaea to address divisions in the Church. (mosaic in Hagia Sophia, Constantinople, c. 1000)

The First Council of Nicaea was convened by Constantine I upon the recommendations of a synod led by Hosius of Cordoba in the Eastertide of 325. This synod had been charged with investigation of the trouble brought about by the Arian controversy in the Greek-speaking east.[3] To most bishops, the teachings of Arius were heretical and a danger to the salvation of souls. In the summer of 325, the bishops of all provinces were summoned to Nicaea (now known as İznik, in modern-day Turkey), a place easily accessible to the majority of them, particularly those of Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Greece, and Thrace.

Approximately 300 bishops attended, from every region of the Empire except Britain. This was the first general council in the history of the Church since the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem, which had established the conditions upon which Gentiles could join the Church.[4] In the Council of Nicaea, “the Church had taken her first great step to define doctrine more precisely in response to a challenge from a heretical theology.”[5] The resolutions in the council, being ecumenical, were intended for the whole Church.

[edit] Attendees

Constantine had invited all 1800 bishops of the Christian church (about 1000 in the east and 800 in the west), but only 250 to 320 bishops actually participated. Eusebius of Caesarea counted 250,[6] Athanasius of Alexandria counted 318,[7] and Eustathius of Antioch counted 270[8] (all three were present at the council). Later, Socrates Scholasticus recorded more than 300,[9] and Evagrius,[10] Hilarius,[11] Jerome[12] and Rufinus recorded 318.

The participating bishops were given free travel to and from their episcopal sees to the council, as well as lodging. These bishops did not travel alone; each one had permission to bring with him two priests and three deacons; so the total number of attendees would have been above 1500. Eusebius speaks of an almost innumerable host of accompanying priests, deacons and acolytes.

A special prominence was also attached to this council because the persecution of Christians had just ended with the February 313 Edict of Milan by Emperors Constantine and Licinius.

The Eastern bishops formed the great majority. Of these, the first rank was held by the three patriarchs: Alexander of Alexandria,[13] Eustathius of Antioch, [13] and Macarius of Jerusalem.[13] Many of the assembled fathers — for instance, Paphnutius of Thebes[13], Potamon of Heraclea[13] and Paul of Neocaesarea[13] — had stood forth as confessors of the faith and came to the council with the marks of persecution on their faces. Other remarkable attendees were Eusebius of Nicomedia; Eusebius of Caesarea; Nicholas of Myra; Aristakes of Armenia; Leontius of Caesarea;[13] Jacob of Nisibis,[13] a former hermit; Hypatius of Granga;[13] Protogenes of Sardica;[13] Melitius of Sebastopolis;[13] Achilleus of Larissa[13] Athanasius of Thessaly[13] and Spyridion of Trimythous, who even while a bishop made his living as a shepherd. From foreign places came a Persian bishop John, a Gothic bishop Theophilus and Stratophilus, bishop of Pitiunt in Egrisi (located at the border of modern-day Russia and Georgia outside of the Roman Empire).

The Latin-speaking provinces sent at least five representatives: Marcus of Calabria from Italia, Cecilian of Carthage from Africa, Hosius of Córdoba from Hispania, Nicasius of Dijon from Gaul,[13] and Domnus of Stridon from the province of the Danube. Pope Silvester I declined to attend, pleading infirmity, but he was represented by two priests.

Athanasius of Alexandria, a young deacon and companion of Bishop Alexander of Alexandria, was among these assistants. Athanasius eventually spent most of his life battling against Arianism. Alexander of Constantinople, then a presbyter, was also present as representative of his aged bishop.[13]

The supporters of Arius included Secundus of Ptolemais,[14] Theonus of Marmarica,[15] Zphyrius, and Dathes, all of whom hailed from Libya and the Pentapolis. Other supporters included Eusebius of Nicomedia,[16] Eusebius of Caesarea, Paulinus of Tyrus, Actius of Lydda, Menophantus of Ephesus, and Theognus of Nicaea.[17][13]

"Resplendent in purple and gold, Constantine made a ceremonial entrance at the opening of the council, probably in early June, but respectfully seated the bishops ahead of himself."[4] As Eusebius described, Constantine "himself proceeded through the midst of the assembly, like some heavenly messenger of God, clothed in raiment which glittered as it were with rays of light, reflecting the glowing radiance of a purple robe, and adorned with the brilliant splendor of gold and precious stones."[18] He was present as an observer, but he did not vote. Constantine organized the Council along the lines of the Roman Senate. "Ossius [Hosius] presided over its deliberations; he probably, and the two priests of Rome certainly, came as representatives of the Pope."[4] “Eusebius of Nicomedia probably gave the welcoming address."[4][19]

[edit] Agenda and procedure

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.
Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.

The agenda of the synod were:

  1. The Arian question;
  2. The celebration of Passover;
  3. The Meletian schism;
  4. The Father and Son one in purpose or in person;
  5. The baptism of heretics;
  6. The status of the lapsed in the persecution under Licinius.

The council was formally opened May 20, in the central structure of the imperial palace, with preliminary discussions on the Arian question. In these discussions, some dominant figures were Arius, with several adherents. “Some 22 of the bishops at the council, led by Eusebius of Nicomedia, came as supporters of Arius. But when some of the more shocking passages from his writings were read, they were almost universally seen as blasphemous.”[4] Bishops Theognis of Nicea and Maris of Chalcedon were among the initial supporters of Arius.

Eusebius of Caesarea called to mind the baptismal creed (symbol) of his own diocese at Caesarea in Palestine, as a form of reconciliation. The majority of the bishops agreed. For some time, scholars thought that the original Nicene Creed was based on this statement of Eusebius. Today, most scholars think that this Creed is derived from the baptismal creed of Jerusalem, as Hans Lietzmann proposed. Another possibility is the Apostle's Creed.

In any case, as the council went on, the orthodox bishops won approval of every one of their proposals. After being in session for an entire month, the council promulgated on June 19 the original Nicene Creed. This profession of faith was adopted by all the bishops “but two from Libya who had been closely associated with Arius from the beginning.”[5] No historical record of their dissent actually exists; the signatures of these bishops are simply absent from the creed.

[edit] Arian controversy

St. Alexander of Alexandria held the first position of the Council of Nicaea.
St. Alexander of Alexandria held the first position of the Council of Nicaea.
Main articles: Arianism and Arian controversy

The Arian controversy was a Christological dispute that began in Alexandria between the followers of Arius (the Arians) and the followers of St. Alexander of Alexandria (now known as homoousians). Alexander and his followers believed that the Son was of the same substance as the Father, co-eternal with him. The Arians believed that they were different and that the Son, though he may be the most perfect of creations, was only a creation. A third group (now known as homoiousians) tried to make a compromise position, saying that the Father and the Son were of similar substance.

Much of the debate hinged on the difference between being "born" or "created" and being "begotten". Arians saw these as the same; followers of Alexander did not. Indeed, the exact meaning of many of the words used in the debates at Nicaea were still unclear to speakers of other languages. Greek words like "essence" (ousia), "substance" (hypostasis), "nature" (physis), "person" (prosopon) bore a variety of meanings drawn from pre-Christian philosophers, which could not but entail misunderstandings until they were cleared up. The word homoousia, in particular, was initially disliked by many bishops because of its associations with Gnostic heretics (who used it in their theology), and because it had been condemned at the 264-268 Synods of Antioch.

Homoousians believed that to follow the Arian view destroyed the unity of the Godhead, and made the Son unequal to the Father, in contravention of the Scriptures ("The Father and I are one", John 10:30). Arians, on the other hand, believed that since God the Father created the Son, he must have emanated from the Father, and thus be lesser than the Father, in that the Father is eternal, but the Son was created afterward and, thus, is not eternal. The Arians likewise appealed to Scripture, quoting verses such as John 14:28: "the Father is greater than I". Homoousians countered the Arians' argument, saying that the Father's fatherhood, like all of his attributes, is eternal. Thus, the Father was always a father, and that the Son, therefore, always existed with him.

The Council declared that the Father and the Son are of the same substance and are co-eternal, basing the declaration in the claim that this was a formulation of traditional Christian belief handed down from the Apostles. This belief was expressed in the Nicene Creed.

[edit] The Nicene Creed

Main article: Nicene Creed
Icon depicting the Holy Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea holding the Nicene Creed.
Icon depicting the Holy Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea holding the Nicene Creed.

By and large, many creeds were acceptable to the members of the council. From his perspective, even Arius could cite such a creed.

For Bishop Alexander and others, however, greater clarity was required. Some distinctive elements in the Nicene Creed, perhaps from the hand of Hosius of Cordova, were added.

  1. Jesus Christ is described as "God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God," confirming his divinity. When all light sources were natural, the essence of light was considered to be identical, regardless of its form.
  2. Jesus Christ is said to be "begotten, not made," asserting his co-eternalness with God, and confirming it by stating his role in the Creation.
  3. Finally, he is said to be "from the substance of the Father," in direct opposition to Arianism. Some ascribe the term Consubstantial, i.e., "of the same substance" (of the Father), to Constantine who, on this particular point, may have chosen to exercise his authority.

Of the third article only the words "and in the Holy Spirit" were left; the original Nicene Creed ended with these words. Then followed immediately the canons of the council. Thus, instead of a baptismal creed acceptable to both the homoousian and Arian parties, as proposed by Eusebius, the council promulgated one which was unambiguous in the aspects touching upon the points of contention between these two positions, and one which was incompatible with the beliefs of Arians. From earliest times, various creeds served as a means of identification for Christians, as a means of inclusion and recognition, especially at baptism. In Rome, for example, the Apostles' Creed was popular, especially for use in Lent and the Easter season. In the Council of Nicaea, one specific creed was used to define the Church's faith clearly, to include those who professed it, and to exclude those who did not.

The text of this profession of faith is preserved in a letter of Eusebius to his congregation, in Athanasius, and elsewhere. Although the most vocal of anti-Arians, the Homoousians (from the Koine Greek word translated as "of same substance" which was condemned at the Council of Antioch in 264-268), were in the minority. The Creed was accepted by the council as an expression of the bishops' common faith and the ancient faith of the whole Church.

Bishop Hosius of Cordova, one of the firm Homoousians, may well have helped bring the council to consensus. At the time of the council, he was the confidant of the emperor in all Church matters. Hosius stands at the head of the lists of bishops, and Athanasius ascribes to him the actual formulation of the creed. Great leaders such as Eustathius of Antioch, Alexander of Alexandria, Athanasius, and Marcellus of Ancyra all adhered to the Homoousian position.

In spite of his sympathy for Arius, Eusebius of Caesarea adhered to the decisions of the council, accepting the entire creed. The initial number of bishops supporting Arius was small. After a month of discussion, on June 19, there were only two left: Theonas of Marmarica in Libya, and Secundus of Ptolemais. Maris of Chalcedon, who initially supported Arianism, agreed to the whole creed. Similarly, Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis of Nice also agreed, except for the certain statements.

The emperor carried out his earlier statement: everybody who refuses to endorse the Creed will be exiled. Arius, Theonas, and Secundus refused to adhere to the creed, and were thus exiled, in addition to being excommunicated. The works of Arius were ordered to be confiscated and consigned to the flames,[20] although there is no evidence that this occurred. Nevertheless, the controversy, already festering, continued in various parts of the empire.

[edit] Separation of Easter from the Jewish Passover

After the June 19 settlement of the most important topic, the question of the date of the Christian Passover (Easter) was brought up. This feast is linked to the Jewish Passover, as the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus occurred during that festival. By the year 300, most Churches had adopted the Western style of celebrating the feast on the Sunday after the Passover, placing the emphasis on the resurrection, which occurred on a Sunday. Others however celebrated the feast on the 14th of the Jewish month Nisan, the date of the crucifixion according to the Bible's Hebrew calendar (Leviticus 23:5,John 19:14). Hence this group was called Quartodecimans, which is derived from the Latin for 14. The Eastern Churches of Syria, Cilicia, and Mesopotamia determined the date of Christian Passover in relation to the 14th day of Nisan, in the Bible's Hebrew calendar. Alexandria and Rome, however, followed a different calculation, attributed to Pope Soter, so that Christian Passover would never coincide with the Jewish observance and decided in favour of celebrating on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox, independently of the Bible's Hebrew calendar.

According to Duchesne,[21] who founds his conclusions:

  1. on the conciliar letter to the Alexandrians preserved in Theodoret;[22]
  2. on the circular letter of Constantine to the bishops after the council;[23]
  3. on Athanasius;[24]

Epiphanius of Salamis wrote in the mid-4th century, "… the emperor … convened a council of 318 bishops … in the city of Nicea. … They passed certain ecclesiastical canons at the council besides, and at the same time decreed in regard to the Passover that there must be one unanimous concord on the celebration of God's holy and supremely excellent day. For it was variously observed by people…"[25]

The council assumed the task of regulating these differences, in part because some dioceses were determined not to have Christian Passover correspond with the Jewish calendar. "The feast of the resurrection was thenceforth required to be celebrated everywhere on a Sunday, and never on the day of the Jewish passover, but always after the fourteenth of Nisan, on the Sunday after the first vernal full moon. The leading motive for this regulation was opposition to Judaism, which had dishonored the passover by the crucifixion of the Lord."[26] Constantine wrote that: "… it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin, and are, therefore, deservedly afflicted with blindness of soul. … Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way."[27] Theodoret recorded the Emperor as saying: "It was, in the first place, declared improper to follow the custom of the Jews in the celebration of this holy festival, because, their hands having been stained with crime, the minds of these wretched men are necessarily blinded. … Let us, then, have nothing in common with the Jews, who are our adversaries. … avoiding all contact with that evil way. … who, after having compassed the death of the Lord, being out of their minds, are guided not by sound reason, but by an unrestrained passion, wherever their innate madness carries them. … a people so utterly depraved. … Therefore, this irregularity must be corrected, in order that we may no more have any thing in common with those parricides and the murderers of our Lord. … no single point in common with the perjury of the Jews."[28]

The Council of Nicaea, however, did not declare the Alexandrian or Roman calculations as normative. Instead, the council gave the Bishop of Alexandria the privilege of announcing annually the date of Christian Passover to the Roman curia. Although the synod undertook the regulation of the dating of Christian Passover, it contented itself with communicating its decision to the different dioceses, instead of establishing a canon. There was subsequent conflict over this very matter. See also Computus and Reform of the date of Easter.

[edit] Meletian Schism

Main article: Meletius of Lycopolis

The suppression of the Meletian schism was one of the three important matters that came before the Council of Nicaea. Meletius, it was decided, should remain in his own city of Lycopolis, but without exercising authority or the power to ordain new clergy; moreover he was forbidden to go into the environs of the town or to enter another diocese for the purpose of ordaining its subjects. Melitius retained his episcopal title, but the ecclesiastics ordained by him were to receive again the imposition of hands, the ordinations performed by Meletius being therefore regarded as invalid. Clergy ordained by Meletius were ordered to yield precedence to those ordained by Alexander, and they were not to do anything without the consent of Bishop Alexander.[29]

In the event of the death of a non-Meletian bishop or ecclesiastic, the vacant see might be given to a Meletian, provided he were worthy and the popular election were ratified by Alexander. As to Meletius himself, episcopal rights and prerogatives were taken from him. These mild measures, however, were in vain; the Meletians joined the Arians and caused more dissension than ever, being among the worst enemies of Athanasius. The Meletians ultimately died out around the middle of the fifth century.

[edit] Other problems

Finally, the council promulgated twenty new church laws, called canons, (though the exact number is subject to debate[30]), that is, unchanging rules of discipline. The twenty as listed in the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers are as follows:[31]

1. prohibition of self-castration; (see Origen)
2. establishment of a minimum term for catechumen;
3. prohibition of the presence in the house of a cleric of a younger woman who might bring him under suspicion;
4. ordination of a bishop in the presence of at least three provincial bishops and confirmation by the metropolitan;
5. provision for two provincial synods to be held annually;
6. exceptional authority acknowledged for the patriarchs of Alexandria and Rome, for their respective regions;
7. recognition of the honorary rights of the see of Jerusalem;
8. provision for agreement with the Novatianists;
9–14. provision for mild procedure against the lapsed during the persecution under Licinius;
15–16. prohibition of the removal of priests;
17. prohibition of usury among the clergy;
18. precedence of bishops and presbyters before deacons in receiving Holy Communion, the Eucharist;
19. declaration of the invalidity of baptism by Paulian heretics;
20. prohibition of kneeling during the liturgy, on Sundays and in the fifty days of Eastertide ("the pentecost"). Standing was the normative posture for prayer at this time, as it still is among the Eastern Orthodox. (In time, Western Christianity adopted the term Pentecost to refer to the last Sunday of Eastertide, the fiftieth day.)[32]

On July 25, 325, in conclusion, the fathers of the council celebrated the emperor's twentieth anniversary. In his valedictory address, Constantine again informed his hearers how averse he was to dogmatic controversy; he wanted the Church to live in harmony and peace. In a circular letter, he announced the accomplished unity of practice by the whole Church in the date of the celebration of Christian Passover (now called Easter).

[edit] Effect of the Council

The long-term effects of the Council of Nicaea were significant. For the first time, representatives of many of the bishops of the Church convened to agree on a doctrinal statement. Also for the first time, the Emperor played a role, by calling together the bishops under his authority, and using the power of the state to give the Council's orders effect.

In the short-term, however, the council did not completely solve the problems it was convened to discuss and a period of conflict and upheaval continued for some time. Constantine himself was succeeded by two Arian Emperors in the Eastern Empire: his son, Constantine II and Valens. Valens could not resolve the outstanding ecclesiastical issues, and unsuccessfully confronted St. Basil over the Nicene Creed.[33] Pagan powers within the Empire sought to maintain and at times re-establish Paganism into the seat of Emperor (see Arbogast and Julian the Apostate). Arians and the Meletians soon regained nearly all of the rights they had lost, and consequently, Arianism continued to spread and to cause division in the Church during the remainder of the fourth century. Almost immediately, Eusebius of Nicomedia, an Arian bishop and cousin to Constantine I, used his influence at court to sway Constantine's favor from the orthodox Nicene bishops to the Arians. Eustathius of Antioch was deposed and exiled in 330. Athanasius, who had succeeded Alexander as Bishop of Alexandria, was deposed by the First Synod of Tyre in 335 and Marcellus of Ancyra followed him in 336. Arius himself returned to Constantinople to be readmitted into the Church, but died shortly before he could be received. Constantine died the next year, after finally receiving baptism from Arian Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedi , and "with his passing the first round in the battle after the Council of Nicaea was ended."[34]

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Ecumenical, from Koine Greek oikoumenikos, literally meaning worldwide but generally assumed to be limited to the Roman Empire as in Augustus' claim to be ruler of the oikoumene/world; the earliest extant uses of the term for a council are Eusebius' Life of Constantine 3.6[1] around 338 "σύνοδον οἰκουμενικὴν συνεκρότει" (he convoked an Ecumenical council), Athanasius' Ad Afros Epistola Synodica in 369[2], and the Letter in 382 to Pope Damasus I and the Latin bishops from the First Council of Constantinople[3]
  2. ^ a b c Richard Kieckhefer (1989). "Papacy". Dictionary of the Middle Ages. ISBN 0-684-18275-0
  3. ^ Carroll, 10
  4. ^ a b c d e Carroll, 11
  5. ^ a b Carroll, 12
  6. ^ Eusebius of Caesaria. Life of Constantine (Book III) Chapter 9. Retrieved on 2006-05-08.
  7. ^ Ad Afros Epistola Synodica 2
  8. ^ Theodoret H.E. 1.7
  9. ^ H.E. 1.8
  10. ^ H.E. 3.31
  11. ^ Contra Constantium
  12. ^ Chronicon
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Atiya, Aziz S.. The Coptic Encyclopedia. New York:Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991. ISBN 0-02-897025-X.
  14. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 1, chapter 9.
  15. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 1, chapter 9.
  16. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 1, chapter 9.
  17. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 1, chapter 9.
  18. ^ Eusebius, The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine, Book 3, Chapter 10.
  19. ^ Original lists of attendees can be found in Patrum Nicaenorum nomina Latine, Graece, Coptice, Syriace, Arabice, Armeniace, ed. Henricus Gelzer, Henricus Hilgenfeld, Otto Cuntz. 2nd edition. (Stuttgart: Teubner, 1995)
  20. ^ Socrates Church History Chapter IX
  21. ^ Revue des questions historiques, xxviii. 37
  22. ^ Hist. eccl., I., ix. 12; Socrates, Hist. eccl., I., ix. 12
  23. ^ Eusebius, Vita Constantine, III., xviii. 19; Theodoret, Hist. eccl., I., x. 3 sqq.
  24. ^ De Synodo, v.; Epist. ad Afros, ii.
  25. ^ Epiphanius, The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Books II and III (Sects 47-80), De Fide. Section VI, Verses 1,1 and 1,3. Translated by Frank Williams. EJ Brill, New York, 1994, pp.471-472).
  26. ^ Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church, Volume III: Nicene and Post-Nicene. Retrieved on 2006-05-08.
  27. ^ Eusebius of Caesaria. Life of Constantine (Book III). Retrieved on 2006-05-08.
  28. ^ Jackson, Blomfield. The Ecclesiastical History, Dialogues, and Letters of Theodoret. Retrieved on 2006-05-08.
  29. ^ "Meletius" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
  30. ^ Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. XIV, Excursus on the Number of the Nicene Canons. Early Church Fathers. Retrieved on 2006-05-08.
  31. ^ Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. XIV, The Canons of the 318 Holy Fathers Assembled in the City of Nice (sic), in Bithynia.. Early Church Fathers. Retrieved on 2006-05-08.
  32. ^ For the exact text of the prohibition of kneeling, in Greek and in English translation, see canon 20 of the acts of the council.
  33. ^ Heroes of the Fourth Century
  34. ^ Leo Donald Davis, S.J., "The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787)", 77, ISBN 0-8146-5616-1

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] Primary sources

[edit] Literature

[edit] External links

325AD The Nicene Creed in communion with the 70-1070AD Millennium

We believe in
one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.

And in
one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
by whom all things were made both in heaven and on earth;
who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man;
he suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven;
from thence he shall [future to 325AD] come to judge the quick and the dead.

And in
the Holy Ghost.


But those who say:
'There was a time when he was not;'
and 'He was not before he was made;'
and 'He was made out of nothing,'
or 'He is of another substance' or 'essence,'
or 'The Son of God is created,' or 'changeable,' or 'alterable'
— they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.


I agree wholeheartedly with the Nicene creed with one amendment made to the statement, "from thence [heaven] he shall [future to 325AD] come to judge the quick and the dead." I would amend the verb tense to read, "from thence he comes [ongoing reign since His accomplished Return] to judge the quick and the dead."

Even so, the churchmen who formulated the Nicene Creed looked forward from their 325AD timeframe to a future Judgment with its accompanying Resurrection & Judgement of the Dead. But so did the 70-1070AD Millennialists of that time. They all alike looked forward from their 325AD perspective for the fulfillment of Rev 20:5a, that "the rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1000 years were completed." That is, a 70-1070AD Millennialist living around the time the Nicene Creed was formulated (325AD) would share the same anticipation of a yet future Judgment and Resurrection of "the rest of the dead" because they each saw the end of Rev 20:1-7's "1000 years" as still future to their 325AD point on the timeline. And so, anyone of that time holding to the 70-1070AD Millennium would gladly share in confessing the Nicene Creed as originally formulated. The prevalent view among all Christians of the period was that they were living well within the 1000 year Millennium that they expected to end some time after 1000AD or 1070AD. (The prevailing eschatology of the Middle Age(s) was that the 1000-year Millennium started either at Christ's birth or at the writing of the book of Revelation or at the fall of old Jerusalem as taught by Augustine and later, by Martin Luther & other Reformers like John Lightfoot).

The only difference of opinion voiced would have been that the 70-1070AD Millennialist would declare that Jesus "Emannuel" was already living among them (as artwork from the period depicts Jesus personally handing out the 50 Bibles commissioned by Constantine), the saints & martyrs of the Tribulation were already resurrected-tranformed-glorified (as artwork & legend from the period depicts), and together Saints&Christ were judging the living and the dead in such a way that Christianity's enemies were put under their feet (as truimphant Christendom of the period commonly saw it).

Along with the Nicene Creedalists, however, the 70-1070AD Millennialist of this period would have also anticipated a future period of trial & testing to come upon Christendom sometime after the end of that 1000-year Millennium in which they each saw themselves living. That is, sometime after 1000AD, both the Nicene Creedalist and the 70-1070AD Millennialist alike expected a major challenge to Christendom's dominance, (which indeed occurred as noted by Martin Luther LINK and other Reformers and those who followed their teaching, John Lightfoot LINK).

prophecyhistory.com endeavors to show from the Scriptures that Christ's coming to judge the living and the dead was to take place within the biological lifetimes of those who first heard and saw Jesus Christ in person; and that, once Returned, Christ would remain & continue to judge (rule) over the living and the dead forever and ever. I endeavor, also, to show how the record of human experience, history, accords happily with the Scriptures' teaching.

It should be noted that the Nicene Creed concludes by providing a specific list of beliefs to be condemned, (neither 70-1070AD Millennialism nor anything I teach is among them). Simply put, it would be ridiculous for a man to condemn as a heretic someone who: confesses that Jesus the Son of God (1 John 4:15); believes Jesus is the Christ (1 John 5:1); confesses that Jesus Christ is the Word of God who came in the flesh (John 1:1 & 1 John 4:2); confesses the name of Jesus before men (Matt 10:32) ; confesses Jesus is Lord while believing in his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 10:9); worships God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 2:23); abides in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9); displays the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-24); obeys the Gospel of Paul (Rom 2:16 & Rom 16:25); values the Old Testament for godly instruction (2 Tim 3:15-17); loves all the saints & brethren, maintaining good standing & fellowship among the churches (Eph 1:15 & Col 1:4 & 1 John 3:14); yet understands God & Jesus to be present among us now judging the living and the dead among us rather than yet future, (line 8 of aforementioned creed). Wittingly or not, much of global, historic Christianity tacitly testifies to their agreement with my position on this, as well, LINK.

Though, for the love for the brethren, the traditions of our Church brothers should be respected, they must not be respected above the Word of our Father, LINK.

Matthew 23:8-11
8 But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.
NKJV

Matthew 24:34-35
"Assuredly, I say to YOU [to you Apostles Peter, James, John, Andrew, Thomas, Judas, et al], THIS GENERATION will by no means pass away till all these things take place."
NKJV

347-420AD Jerome: The Latin Vulgate, bringing the Bible to the language of the common people

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome

Jerome

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Saint Jerome

St. Jerome, by Lucas van Leyden
Doctor of the Church
Bornca. 347, Stridon, Dalmatia
Died420, Bethlehem, Judea
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Lutheran Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Coptic Orthodox Church
Beatified1747 by Benedict XIV
Canonized1767 by Clement XIII
Major shrineBasilica of Saint Mary Major, Rome
FeastSeptember 30 (C, L), June 15 (O)
Attributeslion, cardinal attire, cross, skull, trumpet, owl, books and writing material
Patronagearcheologists; archivists; Bible scholars; librarians; libraries; schoolchildren; students; translators
Saints Portal

Jerome (ca. 347September 30, 420; Greek: Ευσέβιος Σωφρόνιος Ιερώνυμος, Latin: Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus) is best known as the translator of the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin. He also was a Christian apologist. Jerome's edition of the Bible, the Vulgate, is still an important text of the Roman Catholic Church. He is recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as a canonized Saint and Doctor of the Church. He is also recognized as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church, where he is known as St. Jerome of Stridonium or Blessed Jerome ("Blessed" in this context does not have the sense of being less than a saint, as in the West).

In the artistic tradition of the Roman Catholic Church it has been usual to represent him, the patron of theological learning, as a cardinal, by the side of the Bishop Augustine, the Archbishop Ambrose, and the Pope Gregory I. Even when he is depicted as a half-clad anchorite, with cross, skull, and Bible for the only furniture of his cell, the red hat or some other indication of his rank is as a rule introduced somewhere in the picture. He is also often depicted with a lion, due to a medieval story in which he removed a thorn from a lion's paw,[1] and, less often, an owl, the symbol of wisdom and scholarship.[2] Writing materials and the trumpet of final judgment are also part of his iconography.[2]

Contents

[hide]

[edit] Life

Saint Jerome in his Study, by Domenico Ghirlandaio
Saint Jerome in his Study, by Domenico Ghirlandaio

Jerome was born c. 347 at Strido, on the border between Pannonia and Dalmatia, as is referenced in his De Viris Illustribus Chapter 135 (English translation below).

Jerome was an Illyrian, born to Christian parents, but was not baptized until about 360, when he had gone to Rome with his friend Bonosus to pursue rhetorical and philosophical studies. He studied under Aelius Donatus, a skillful compiler of language techniques which Donatus called "grammar." Jerome learned Koine Greek, but yet had no thought of studying the Greek Fathers, or any Christian writings.

After several years in Rome, he travelled with Bonosus to Gaul and settled in Trier "on the semi-barbarous banks of the Rhine" where he seems to have first taken up theological studies, and where he copied, for his friend Rufinus, Hilary of Poitiers' commentary on the Psalms and the treatise De synodis. Next came a stay of at least several months, or possibly years, with Rufinus at Aquileia where he made many Christian friends.

Some of these accompanied him when he set out about 373 on a journey through Thrace and Asia Minor into northern Syria. At Antioch, where he stayed the longest, two of his companions died and he himself was seriously ill more than once. During one of these illnesses (about the winter of 373-374), he had a vision that led him to lay aside his secular studies and devote himself to the things of God. He seems to have abstained for a considerable time from the study of the classics and to have plunged deeply into that of the Bible, under the impulse of Apollinaris of Laodicea, then teaching in Antioch and not yet suspected of heresy.

St. Jerome reading in the countryside, by Giovanni Bellini
St. Jerome reading in the countryside, by Giovanni Bellini

Seized with a desire for a life of ascetic penance, he went for a time to the desert of Chalcis, to the southwest of Antioch, known as the Syrian Thebaid, from the number of hermits inhabiting it. During this period, he seems to have found time for study and writing. He made his first attempt to learn Hebrew under the guidance of a converted Jew; and he seems to have been in correspondence with Jewish Christians in Antioch, and perhaps as early as this to have interested himself in the Gospel of the Hebrews, said by them to be the source of the canonical Matthew.

Returning to Antioch in 378 or 379, he was ordained by Bishop Paulinus, apparently unwillingly and on condition that he continue his ascetic life. Soon afterward, he went to Constantinople to pursue a study of Scripture under Gregory Nazianzen. He seems to have spent two years there; the next three (382-385) he was in Rome again, attached to Pope Damasus I and the leading Roman Christians. Invited originally for the synod of 382, held to end the schism of Antioch, he made himself indispensable to the pope, and took a prominent place in his councils.

St. Jerome, by Peter Paul Rubens, 1625–1630
St. Jerome, by Peter Paul Rubens, 1625–1630

Among his other duties, he undertook a revision of the Latin Bible, to be based on the Greek New Testament. He also updated the Psalter then at use in Rome based on the Septuagint. Though he did not realize it yet at this point, translating much of what became the Latin Vulgate Bible would take many years, and be his most important achievement (see Writings- Translations section below).

In Rome he was surrounded by a circle of well-born and well-educated women, including some from the noblest patrician families, such as the widows Marcella and Paula, with their daughters Blaesilla and Eustochium. The resulting inclination of these women to the monastic life, and his unsparing criticism of the secular clergy, brought a growing hostility against him amongst the clergy and their supporters. Soon after the death of his patron Damasus (December 10, 384), Jerome was forced to leave his position at Rome after an inquiry by the Roman clergy into allegations that he had improper relations with the widow Paula.

In August 385, he returned to Antioch, accompanied by his brother Paulinianus and several friends, and followed a little later by Paula and Eustochium, who had resolved to end their days in the Holy Land. In the winter of 385, Jerome acted as their spiritual adviser. The pilgrims, joined by Bishop Paulinus of Antioch, visited Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the holy places of Galilee, and then went to Egypt, the home of the great heroes of the ascetic life.

At the Catechetical School of Alexandria, Jerome listened to the blind catechist Didymus the Blind expounding the prophet Hosea and telling his reminiscences of Anthony the Great, who had died thirty years before; he spent some time in Nitria, admiring the disciplined community life of the numerous inhabitants of that "city of the Lord," but detecting even there "concealed serpents," i.e., the influence of Origen. Late in the summer of 388 he was back in Palestine, and spent the remainder of his life in a hermit's cell near Bethlehem, surrounded by a few friends, both men and women (including Paula and Eustochium), to whom he acted as priestly guide and teacher.

Painting by Niccolò Antonio Colantonio, showing St. Jerome's removal of a thorn from a lion's paw.
Painting by Niccolò Antonio Colantonio, showing St. Jerome's removal of a thorn from a lion's paw.

Amply provided by Paula with the means of livelihood and of increasing his collection of books, he led a life of incessant activity in literary production. To these last thirty-four years of his career belong the most important of his works -- his version of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew text, the best of his scriptural commentaries, his catalogue of Christian authors, and the dialogue against the Pelagians, the literary perfection of which even an opponent recognized. To this period also belong most of his polemics, which distinguished him among the orthodox Fathers, including the treatises against the Origenism of Bishop John II of Jerusalem and his early friend Rufinus. As a result of his writings against Pelagianism, a body of excited partisans broke into the monastic buildings, set them on fire, attacked the inmates and killed a deacon, forcing Jerome to seek safety in a neighboring fortress (416).

Jerome died near Bethlehem on September 30, 420. The date of his death is given by the Chronicon of Prosper of Aquitaine. His remains, originally buried at Bethlehem, are said to have been later transferred to the church of Santa Maria Maggiore at Rome, though other places in the West claim some relics -- the cathedral at Nepi boasting possession of his head, which, according to another tradition, is in the Escorial.

[edit] Translations

Jerome was a scholar at a time when that statement implied a fluency in Greek. He knew some Hebrew when he started his translation project, but moved to Jerusalem to perfect his grasp of the language and to strengthen his grip on Jewish scripture commentary. A wealthy Roman aristocrat, Paula, founded a monastery for him in Bethlehem - rather like a research institute - and he completed his translation there. He began in 382 by correcting the existing Latin language version of the New Testament, commonly referred to as the Itala or Vetus Latina (the "Italian" or "Old Latin" version). By 390 he turned to the Hebrew Bible, having previously translated portions from the Septuagint Greek version. He completed this work by 405. Before Jerome's translation, all Old Testament translations were based on the Septuagint. Jerome's decision to use the Hebrew Old Testament instead of the Septuagint went against the advice of most other Christians, including Augustine, who considered the Septuagint inspired.


For the next fifteen years, until he died, he produced a number of commentaries on Scripture, often explaining his translation choices. His knowledge of Hebrew, primarily required for this branch of his work, gives also to his exegetical treatises (especially to those written after 386) a value greater than that of most patristic commentaries. The commentaries align closely with Jewish tradition, and he indulges in allegorical and mystical subtleties after the manner of Philo and the Alexandrian school. Unlike his contemporaries, he emphasizes the difference between the Hebrew Bible "apocrypha" (most of which are now in the deuterocanon) and the Hebraica veritas of the canonical books. Evidence of this can be found in his introductions to the Solomonic writings, to the Book of Tobit, and to the Book of Judith. Most notable, however, is the statement from his Prologus Galeatus (introduction to the Books of the Kings):

This preface to the Scriptures may serve as a "helmeted" introduction to all the books which we turn from Hebrew into Latin, so that we may be assured that what is not found in our list must be placed amongst the Apocryphal writings.[1]

Jerome's commentaries fall into three groups:

  • His translations or recastings of Greek predecessors, including fourteen homilies on Jeremiah and the same number on Ezekiel by Origen (translated ca. 380 in Constantinople); two homilies of Origen on the Song of Solomon (in Rome, ca. 383); and thirty-nine on Luke (ca. 389, in Bethlehem). The nine homilies of Origen on Isaiah included among his works were not done by him. Here should be mentioned, as an important contribution to the topography of Palestine, his book De situ et nominibus locorum Hebraeorum, a translation with additions and some regrettable omissions of the Onomasticon of Eusebius. To the same period (ca. 390) belongs the Liber interpretationis nominum Hebraicorum, based on a work supposed to go back to Philo and expanded by Origen.
  • Original commentaries on the Old Testament. To the period before his settlement at Bethlehem and the following five years belong a series of short Old Testament studies: De seraphim, De voce Osanna, De tribus quaestionibus veteris legis (usually included among the letters as 18, 20, and 36); Quaestiones hebraicae in Genesin; Commentarius in Ecclesiasten; Tractatus septem in Psalmos 10-16 (lost); Explanationes in Mich/leaeam, Sophoniam, Nahum, Habacuc, Aggaeum. About 395 he composed a series of longer commentaries, though in rather a desultory fashion: first on the remaining seven minor prophets, then on Isaiah (ca. 395-ca. 400), on Daniel (ca. 407), on Ezekiel (between 410 and 415), and on Jeremiah (after 415, left unfinished).
  • New Testament commentaries. These include only Philemon, Galatians, Ephesians, and Titus (hastily composed 387-388); Matthew (dictated in a fortnight, 398); Mark, selected passages in Luke, the prologue of John, and Revelation. Treating the last-named book in his cursory fashion, he made use of an excerpt from the commentary of the North African Tichonius, which is preserved as a sort of argument at the beginning of the more extended work of the Spanish presbyter Beatus of Liébana. But before this he had already devoted to the Book of Revelation another treatment, a rather arbitrary recasting of the commentary of Saint Victorinus (d. 303), with whose chiliastic views he was not in accord, substituting for the chiliastic conclusion a spiritualizing exposition of his own, supplying an introduction, and making certain changes in the text.

[edit] Historical writings

  • One of Jerome's earliest attempts in the department of history was his Chronicle (or Chronicon or Temporum liber), composed ca. 380 in Constantinople; this is a translation into Latin of the chronological tables which compose the second part of the Chronicon of Eusebius, with a supplement covering the period from 325 to 379. Despite numerous errors taken over from Eusebius, and some of his own, Jerome produced a valuable work, if only for the impulse which it gave to such later chroniclers as Prosper, Cassiodorus, and Victor of Tunnuna to continue his annals.
  • The so-called Martyrologium Hieronymianum is spurious; it was apparently composed by a western monk toward the end of the sixth or beginning of the seventh century, with reference to an expression of Jerome's in the opening chapter of the Vita Malchi, where he speaks of intending to write a history of the saints and martyrs from the apostolic times.
  • But the most important of Jerome's historical works is the book De viris illustribus, written at Bethlehem in 392, the title and arrangement of which are borrowed from Suetonius. It contains short biographical and literary notes on 135 Christian authors, from Saint Peter down to Jerome himself. For the first seventy-eight authors Eusebius (Historia ecclesiastica) is the main source; in the second section, beginning with Arnobius and Lactantius, he includes a good deal of independent information, especially as to western writers.

[edit] Letters

Jerome's letters or epistles, both by the great variety of their subjects and by their qualities of style, form the most interesting portion of his literary remains. Whether he is discussing problems of scholarship, or reasoning on cases of conscience, comforting the afflicted, or saying pleasant things to his friends, scourging the vices and corruptions of the time, exhorting to the ascetic life and renunciation of the world, or breaking a lance with his theological opponents, he gives a vivid picture not only of his own mind, but of the age and its peculiar characteristics.

The letters most frequently reprinted or referred to are of a hortatory nature, such as Ep. 14, Ad Heliodorum de laude vitae solitariae; Ep. 22, Ad Eustochium de custodia virginitatis; Ep. 52, Ad Nepotianum de vita clericorum et monachorum, a sort of epitome of pastoral theology from the ascetic standpoint; Ep. 53, Ad Paulinum de studio scripturarum; Ep. 57, to the same, De institutione monachi; Ep. 70, Ad Magnum de scriptoribus ecclesiasticis; and Ep. 107, Ad Laetam de institutione filiae.

[edit] Theological writings

Practically all of Jerome's productions in the field of dogma have a more or less violently polemical character, and are directed against assailants of the orthodox doctrines. Even the translation of the treatise of Didymus the Blind on the Holy Spirit into Latin (begun in Rome 384, completed at Bethlehem) shows an apologetic tendency against the Arians and Pneumatomachoi. The same is true of his version of Origen's De principiis (ca. 399), intended to supersede the inaccurate translation by Rufinus. The more strictly polemical writings cover every period of his life. During the sojourns at Antioch and Constantinople he was mainly occupied with the Arian controversy, and especially with the schisms centering around Meletius of Antioch and Lucifer Calaritanus. Two letters to Pope Damasus (15 and 16) complain of the conduct of both parties at Antioch, the Meletians and Paulinians, who had tried to draw him into their controversy over the application of the terms ousia and hypostasis to the Trinity. At the same time or a little later (379) he composed his Liber Contra Luciferianos, in which he cleverly uses the dialogue form to combat the tenets of that faction, particularly their rejection of baptism by heretics.

In Rome (ca. 383) he wrote a passionate counterblast against the teaching of Helvidius, in defense of the doctrine of The perpetual virginity of Mary, the Mary, and of the superiority of the single over the married state. An opponent of a somewhat similar nature was Jovinianus, with whom he came into conflict in 392 (Adversus Jovinianum, (Against Jovinianus) and the defense of this work addressed to his friend Pammachius, numbered 48 in the letters). Once more he defended the ordinary Catholic practices of piety and his own ascetic ethics in 406 against the Spanish presbyter Vigilantius, who opposed the cultus of martyrs and relics, the vow of poverty, and clerical celibacy. Meanwhile the controversy with John II of Jerusalem and Rufinus concerning the orthodoxy of Origen occurred. To this period belong some of his most passionate and most comprehensive polemical works: the Contra Joannem Hierosolymitanum (398 or 399); the two closely-connected Apologiae contra Rufinum (402); and the "last word" written a few months later, the Liber tertius seu ultima responsio adversus scripta Rufini. The last of his polemical works is the skilfully-composed Dialogus contra Pelagianos (415).

[edit] Jerome's reception in later Christianity

Jerome is the second most voluminous writer (after St. Augustine) in ancient Latin Christianity. In the Roman Catholic Church, he is recognized as the patron saint of translators, librarians and encyclopedists.

He acquired a knowledge of Hebrew by studying with a Jew who converted to Christianity, and took the unusual position (for that time) that the Hebrew, and not the Septuagint, was the inspired text of the Old Testament. He used this knowledge to translate what became known as the Vulgate, and his translation was slowly but eventually accepted in the Catholic church.[3] Obviously, the later resurgence of Hebrew studies within Christianity owes much to him.

Jerome sometimes seemed arrogant, and occasionally despised or belittled his literary rivals, especially Ambrose. It is not so much by absolute knowledge that he shines, as by a certain poetical elegance, an incisive wit, a singular skill in adapting recognized or proverbial phrases to his purpose, and a successful aiming at rhetorical effect.

He showed more zeal and interest in the ascetic ideal than in abstract speculation. It was this strict asceticism that made Martin Luther judge him so severely. In fact, Protestant readers are not generally inclined to accept his writings as authoritative. The tendency to recognize a superior comes out in his correspondence with Augustine (cf. Jerome's letters numbered 56, 67, 102-105, 110-112, 115-116; and 28, 39, 40, 67-68, 71-75, 81-82 in Augustine's).

Despite of the criticisms already mentioned, Jerome has retained a rank among the western Fathers. This would be his due, if for nothing else, on account of the great influence exercised by his Latin version of the Bible upon the subsequent ecclesiastical and theological development.

[edit] Quotes

I praise marriage, but it is because they give me virgins. (Jerome's Letter XXII to Eustochium, section 20 on-line)
Be ever engaged, so that whenever the devil calls he may find you occupied.
Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ. (Jerome's Prologue to the “Commentary on Isaiah”: PL 24,17)

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ The lion episode, in Vita Divi Hieronymi (Migne Pat. Lat. XXII, c. 209ff.) was translated by Helen Waddell Beasts and Saints (NY: Henry Holt) 1934) (on-line retelling).
  2. ^ a b The Collection: St. Jerome, gallery of the religious art collection of New Mexico State University, with explanations. Accessed August 10, 2007.
  3. ^ Stefan Rebenich, Jerome (New York: Routlage, 2002), pp. 52-59

[edit] External links

[edit] References

[edit] Footnotes

  1. ^ The lion episode, in Vita Divi Hieronymi (Migne Pat. Lat. XXII, c. 209ff.) was translated by Helen Waddell Beasts and Saints (NY: Henry Holt) 1934) (on-line retelling).
  2. ^ a b The Collection: St. Jerome, gallery of the religious art collection of New Mexico State University, with explanations. Accessed August 10, 2007.
  3. ^ Stefan Rebenich, Jerome (New York: Routlage, 2002), pp. 52-59

[edit] General references

  • Biblia Sacra Vulgata Stuttgart, 1994. ISBN 3-438-05303-9
  • This article uses material from Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religion.
  • birth/death dates from Cameron, A (1993). The Later Roman Empire. London: Fontana Press, 203. ISBN 0-00-686172-5.
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354-430AD Augustine: "1000 Years" Millennium started in 1st Century: (either 1AD or 70AD)

"Another important division of historical interpreters is into Post-Millennarians and Pre-Millennarians, according as the millennium predicted in Revelation 20 is regarded as part or future. Augustin committed the radical error of dating the millennium from the time of the Apocalypse or the beginning of the Christian era (although the seer mentioned it near the end of his book), and his view had great influence; hence the wide expectation of the end of the world at the close of the first millennium of the Christian church. Other post-millennarian interpreters date the millennium from the triumph of Christianity over paganism in Rome at the accession of Constantine the Great (311);"

(Excerpted from Schaff's History of the Church, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

["Radical error" or not is open to debate. (Philip Schaff went on to embrace historical Preterism, noting his own change of doctrinal position in later editions of this work.) But without argument, St. Augustin dated Rev 20:1-10’s “1000 Years” from the time of the writing of Revelation ("The Apocalypse" in Latin) or the beginning of the Christian era to the end of the first millennium of the Christian church. This view was so widely held during the Middle Age that there was wide expectation of the end of the world at 1000AD, the close of the first millennium of the Christian church. I agree with St. Augustin, (354-430AD), that he was living near the middle of Rev 20:1-10's "1000 years." ~jwr

"Luther struck the key-note of this anti-popery exegesis. He had at first a very low opinion of the Apocalypse, and would not recognize it as apostolic or prophetic (1522), but afterward he utilized for polemic purposes (in a preface to his edition of the N. T. of 1530). He [Martin Luther] dated the one thousand years (Revelation 20:7) with Augustin from the composition of the book, and the six hundred and sixty-six years from Gregory VII., as the supposed founder of the papacy, and understood Gog and Magog to mean the unspeakable Turks and the Jews. As Gregory VII. was elected pope 1073, the anti-Christian era ought to have come to an end A.D. 1739; but that year passed off without any change in the history of the papacy."
(Excerpted from Schaff's History of the Church, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
Martin Luther, following Augustin, Rev 20:1-10’s “1000 Years” from “the composition of the book [of Revelation] to the year 1073AD, when Gregory VII was elected Pope. Luther then expected an anti-Christian era (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7-9 period of Satan’s release) to expend from 1073AD to 666 years later. I do not see how Luther got 666 years for the period of Satan's release, but I can see how he might calculate 1073AD to be the end of the 1000 Year Millennium - that makes Augustin and Luther's Millennium from that last great defeat at Masada in 73AD to a literal 1000 years later when Gregory VII became Pope, greatly extending papal claims, launching the Crusades, which in turn provoked foreign invaders, who brought Black Death Plague with them, etc., inaugurating the Dark Age that ended with the heavenly fires of the Reformation/Rennaissance/Discovery of the New World/Modern Era. I agree with Martin Luther, (1483-1546AD), that he was living in the period that followed Rev 20:1-10's "1000 years." ~jwr

MILLENNIUM : Latin MILLE, thousand + Latin ANNUS, year


http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0140448942/ref=sib_dp_pop_bc?ie=UTF8&p=S0X0#reader-link


From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustine_of_Hippo

Augustine of Hippo

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Saint Augustine of Hippo

Augustine as depicted by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1480
Bishop and Doctor of the Church
BornNovember 13, 354(354-11-13), Tagaste, Algeria
DiedAugust 28, 430 (aged 75), Hippo Regius
Venerated inmost Christian groups
Major shrineSan Pietro in Ciel d'Oro, Pavia, Italy
FeastAugust 28 (W), June 15 (E)
Attributeschild; dove; pen; shell, pierced heart
Patronagebrewers; printers; sore eyes; theologians
Saints Portal

Aurelius Augustinus, Augustine of Hippo, or Saint Augustine (November 13, 354August 28, 430) was a philosopher and theologian, and was bishop of the North African city of Hippo Regius for the last third of his life. Augustine is one of the most important figures in the development of Western Christianity, and is considered to be one of the church fathers. He framed the concepts of original sin and just war.

In Roman Catholicism and the Anglican Communion, he is a saint and pre-eminent Doctor of the Church, and the patron of the Augustinian religious order. Many Protestants, especially Calvinists, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of Reformation teaching on salvation and grace. In the Eastern Orthodox Church he is a saint, and his feast day is celebrated annually on June 15, though a minority are of the opinion that he is a heretic, primarily because of his statements concerning what became known as the filioque clause.[1] Among the Orthodox he is called Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed. "Blessed" here does not mean that he is less than a saint, but is a title bestowed upon him as a sign of respect.[2] The Orthodox do not remember Augustine so much for his theological speculations as for his writings on spirituality. In addition he believed in Papal supremacy. [3]

Born in present day Algeria as the eldest son of Saint Monica, he was educated in North Africa and baptized in Milan. His works—including The Confessions, which is often called the first Western autobiography—are still read around the world.

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Saint Augustine was of Berber descent[4] and was born in 354 A.D. in Tagaste (present-day Souk Ahras, Algeria), a provincial Roman city in North Africa.[5] At the age of 11, Augustine was sent to school at Madaurus, a small Numidian city about 19 miles south of Tagaste noted for its pagan climate. There he became very familiar with Latin literature, as well as pagan beliefs and practices.[6] In 369 and 370, he remained at home. During this period he read Cicero's dialogue Hortensius, which he described as leaving a lasting impression on him and sparking his interest in philosophy.[5] At age seventeen, through the generosity of a fellow citizen Romanianus,[5] he went to Carthage to continue his education in rhetoric. His revered mother, Monica,[7] was a Berber and a devout Catholic, and his father, Patricius, a pagan. Although raised as a Catholic, Augustine left the Church to follow the controversial Manichaean religion, much to the despair of his mother. As a youth Augustine lived a hedonistic lifestyle for a time and, in Carthage, he developed a relationship with a young woman who would be his concubine for over fifteen years. During this period he had a son, Adeodatus,[8] with the young woman. During the years 373 and 374, Augustine taught grammar at Tagaste. The following year, he moved to Carthage to conduct a school of rhetoric there, and would remain there for the next nine years.[5] Disturbed by the unruly behaviour of the students in Carthage, in 383 he moved to Rome to establish a school there, where he believed the best and brightest rhetoricians practiced. However, Augustine was disappointed with the Roman schools, which he found apathetic. Once the time came for his students to pay their fees they simply fled. Manichaean friends introduced him to the prefect of the City of Rome, Symmachus, who had been asked to provide a professor of rhetoric for the imperial court at Milan.

"St Augustine and Monica" (1846), by Ary Scheffer.
"St Augustine and Monica" (1846), by Ary Scheffer.

The young provincial won the job and headed north to take up his position in late 384. At age thirty, Augustine had won the most visible academic chair in the Latin world, at a time when such posts gave ready access to political careers. However, he felt the tensions of life at an imperial court, lamenting one day as he rode in his carriage to deliver a grand speech before the emperor, that a drunken beggar he passed on the street had a less careworn existence than he did.

It was at Milan that Augustine's life changed. While still at Carthage, he had begun to move away from Manichaeism, in part because of a disappointing meeting with a key exponent of Manichaean theology. In Rome, he is reported to have completely turned away from Manichaeanism, and instead embraced the skepticism of the New Academy movement. At Milan, his mother Monica pressured him to become a Catholic. Augustine's own studies in Neoplatonism were also leading him in this direction, and his friend Simplicianus urged him that way as well.[5] But it was the bishop of Milan, Ambrose, who had most influence over Augustine. Ambrose was a master of rhetoric like Augustine himself, but older and more experienced.

Augustine's mother had followed him to Milan and he allowed her to arrange a society marriage, for which he abandoned his concubine (however he had to wait two years until his fiancée came of age; he promptly took up in the meantime with another woman). It was during this period that he uttered his famous prayer, "Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet" [da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo] (Conf., VIII. vii (17)).

In the summer of 386, after having read an account of the life of Saint Anthony of the Desert which greatly inspired him, Augustine underwent a profound personal crisis and decided to convert to Catholic Christianity, abandon his career in rhetoric, quit his teaching position in Milan, give up any ideas of marriage, and devote himself entirely to serving God and the practices of priesthood, which included celibacy. Key to this conversion was the voice of an unseen child he heard while in his garden in Milan telling him in a sing-song voice to "tolle lege" ("take up and read") the Bible, at which point he opened the Bible at random and fell upon the Epistle to the Romans 13:13, which reads: "Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying" (KJV). He would detail his spiritual journey in his famous Confessions, which became a classic of both Christian theology and world literature. Ambrose baptized Augustine, along with his son, Adeodatus, on Easter Vigil in 387 in Milan, and soon thereafter in 388 he returned to Africa.[5] On his way back to Africa his mother died, as did his son soon after, leaving him alone in the world without family.

Upon his return to north Africa he sold his patrimony and gave the money to the poor. The only thing he kept was the family house, which he converted into a monastic foundation for himself and a group of friends.[5] In 391 he was ordained a priest in Hippo Regius (now Annaba, in Algeria). He became a famous preacher (more than 350 preserved sermons are believed to be authentic), and was noted for combating the Manichaean religion, to which he had formerly adhered.

In 396 he was made coadjutor bishop of Hippo (assistant with the right of succession on the death of the current bishop), and became full bishop shortly thereafter. He remained in this position at Hippo until his death in 430. Augustine worked tirelessly in trying to convince the people of Hippo, who were diverse racial and religious group, to convert to the Catholic faith. He left his monastery, but continued to lead a monastic life in the episcopal residence. He left a Rule (Latin, Regula) for his monastery that has led him to be designated the "patron saint of Regular Clergy", that is, Clergy who live by a monastic rule.

Augustine died on August 28, 430 during the siege of Hippo by the Vandals. On his death bed he was read the Enneads of Plotinus. He is said to have encouraged its citizens to resist the attacks, primarily on the grounds that the Vandals adhered to Arianism, a heterodox branch of Christianity. It is also said that he died just as the Vandals were tearing down the city walls of Hippo.

After conquering the city, the Vandals destroyed all of it but Augustine's cathedral and library, which they left untouched. Tradition indicates that his body was later moved to Pavia, where it is said to remain to this day.[5]

[edit] Works

Augustine was one of the most prolific Latin authors, and the list of his works consists of more than a hundred separate titles.[9] They include apologetic works against the heresies of the Arians, Donatists, Manichaeans and Pelagians, texts on Christian doctrine, notably De doctrina Christiana (On Christian Doctrine), exegetical works such as commentaries on Genesis, the Psalms and Paul's Letter to the Romans, many sermons and letters, and the Retractationes (Retractions), a review of his earlier works which he wrote near the end of his life. Apart from those, Augustine is probably best known for his Confessiones (Confessions), which is a personal account of his earlier life, and for De civitate Dei (The City of God, consisting of 22 books), which he wrote to restore the confidence of his fellow Christians, which was badly shaken by the sack of Rome by the Visigoths in 410. His 'On the Trinity' (De Trinitate), in which he developed what has become known as the 'psychological analogy' of the Trinity, is also among his masterpieces, and arguably one of the greatest theological works of all time.

[edit] Influence as a theologian and thinker

Augustine remains a central figure, both within Christianity and in the history of Western thought, and is considered by modern historian Thomas Cahill to be the first medieval man and the last classical man.[10] In both his philosophical and theological reasoning, he was greatly influenced by Stoicism, Platonism and Neo-platonism, particularly by the work of Plotinus, author of the Enneads, probably through the mediation of Porphyry and Victorinus (as Pierre Hadot has argued). His generally favorable view of Neoplatonic thought contributed to the "baptism" of Greek thought and its entrance into the Christian and subsequently the European intellectual tradition. His early and influential writing on the human will, a central topic in ethics, would become a focus for later philosophers such as Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. In addition, Augustine was influenced by the works of Virgil (known for his teaching on language), Cicero (known for his teaching on argument), and Aristotle (particularly his Rhetoric and Poetics).

Augustine's concept of original sin was expounded in his works against the Pelagians. However, Eastern Orthodox theologians, while they believe all humans were damaged by the original sin of Adam and Eve, have key disputes with Augustine about this doctrine, and as such this is viewed as a key source of division between East and West. His writings helped formulate the theory of the just war. He also advocated the use of force against the Donatists, asking "Why ... should not the Church use force in compelling her lost sons to return, if the lost sons compelled others to their destruction?" (The Correction of the Donatists, 22–24). St. Thomas Aquinas took much from Augustine's theology while creating his own unique synthesis of Greek and Christian thought after the widespread rediscovery of the work of Aristotle. While Augustine's doctrine of divine predestination and efficacious grace would never be wholly forgotten within the Roman Catholic Church, finding eloquent expression in the works of Bernard of Clairvaux, Reformation theologians such as Martin Luther and John Calvin would look back to him as the inspiration for their avowed capturing of the Biblical Gospel. Bishop John Fisher of Rochester, a chief opponent of Luther, articulated an Augustinian view of grace and salvation consistent with Church doctrine, thus encompassing both Augustine’s soteriology and his teaching on the authority of and obedience to the Catholic Church.[11] Later, within the Roman Catholic Church, the writings of Cornelius Jansen, who claimed heavy influence from Augustine, would form the basis of the movement known as Jansenism. But what the members of the reformation at that time didn't really get into the fact that St. Augustine believed in Papal supremacy.

Augustine was canonized by popular acclaim, and later recognized as a Doctor of the Church in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII[citation needed]. His feast day is August 28, the day on which he died. He is considered the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, sore eyes, and a number of cities and dioceses.

The latter part of Augustine's Confessions consists of an extended meditation on the nature of time. Even the agnostic philosopher Bertrand Russell was impressed by this. He wrote, "a very admirable relativistic theory of time. ... It contains a better and clearer statement than Kant's of the subjective theory of time - a theory which, since Kant, has been widely accepted among philosophers."[12] Catholic theologians generally subscribe to Augustine's belief that God exists outside of time in the "eternal present"; that time only exists within the created universe because only in space is time discernible through motion and change. His meditations on the nature of time are closely linked to his consideration of the human ability of memory. Frances Yates in her 1966 study, The Art of Memory argues that a brief passage of the Confessions, X.8.12, in which Augustine writes of walking up a flight of stairs and entering the vast fields of memory [13] clearly indicates that the ancient Romans were aware of how to use explicit spatial and architectural metaphors as a mnemonic technique for organizing large amounts of information. According to Leo Ruickbie, Augustine's arguments against magic, differentiating it from miracle, were crucial in the early Church's fight against paganism and became a central thesis in the later denunciation of witches and witchcraft. According to Professor Deepak Lal, Augustine's vision of the heavenly city has influenced the secular projects and traditions of the Enlightenment, Marxism, Freudianism and Eco-fundamentalism[citation needed].

[edit] Influential quotations from Augustine's writings

  • "Give what Thou dost command, and command what Thou wilt." ("Da quod jubes, et jube quod vis," Confessions X, xxix, 40)
  • "Thou madest us for Thyself, and our heart is restless until it repose in Thee." (Confessions I, i, 1)
  • "Love the sinner and hate the sin" (Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum) (Opera Omnia, vol II. col. 962, letter 211.), literally "With love for mankind and hatred of sins "[14]
  • "Excess [i.e., 'extravagant self-indulgence, riotous living'] is the enemy of God" (Luxuria est inimica Dei.)
  • "Heart speaks to heart" (Cor ad cor loquitur)[15]
  • "Nothing conquers except truth and the victory of truth is love" (Victoria veritatis est caritas}[16]
  • "To sing once is to pray twice" (Qui cantat, bis orat) literally "he who sings, prays twice"[17]
  • "Lord, you have seduced me and I let myself be seduced" (quoting the prophet Jeremiah 20.7-9)
  • "Love, and do what you will" (Dilige et quod vis fac) Sermon on 1 John 7, 8[18]
  • "Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet" (da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo) (Conf., VIII. vii (17))
  • "God, O Lord, grant me the power to overcome sin. For this is what you gave to us when you granted us free choice of will. If I choose wrongly, then I shall be justly punished for it. Is that not true, my Lord, of whom I indebted for my temporal existence? Thank you, Lord, for granting me the power to will my self not to sin.(Free Choice of the Will, Book One)"
  • "Christ is the teacher within us"[19] (A paraphrase; see De Magistro - "On the Teacher" - 11:38)
  • "Hear the other side" (Audi partem alteram) De Duabus Animabus, XlV ii
  • "Take up [the book], and Read it" (Tolle, lege) Confessions, Book VIII, Chapter 12
  • "There is no salvation outside the church" (Salus extra ecclesiam non est) (De Bapt. IV, cxvii.24)
  • "To many, total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation." (Multi quidem facilius se abstinent ut non utantur, quam temperent ut bene utantur. - Lit. 'For many it is indeed easier to abstain so as not to use [married sexual relations] at all, than to control themselves so as to use them aright.') (On the Good of Marriage)
  • "We make ourselves a ladder out of our vices if we trample the vices themselves underfoot." (iii. De Ascensione)
  • "Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are." (quoted in William Sloane Coffin, The Heart Is a Little to the Left)

[edit] Theology

[edit] Natural knowledge and biblical interpretation

Augustine took the view that the Biblical text should not be interpreted literally if it contradicts what we know from science and our God-given reason. In "The Literal Interpretation of Genesis" (early 5th century, AD), St. Augustine wrote:

It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation.

The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 1:19–20, Chapt. 19 [AD 408]

With the scriptures it is a matter of treating about the faith. For that reason, as I have noted repeatedly, if anyone, not understanding the mode of divine eloquence, should find something about these matters [about the physical universe] in our books, or hear of the same from those books, of such a kind that it seems to be at variance with the perceptions of his own rational faculties, let him believe that these other things are in no way necessary to the admonitions or accounts or predictions of the scriptures. In short, it must be said that our authors knew the truth about the nature of the skies, but it was not the intention of the Spirit of God, who spoke through them, to teach men anything that would not be of use to them for their salvation.

ibid, 2:9

A more clear distinction between "metaphorical" and "literal" in literary texts arose with the rise of the Scientific Revolution, although its source could be found in earlier writings, such as those of Herodotus (5th century BC). It was even considered heretical to interpret the Bible literally at times (cf. Origen, St. Jerome).[citation needed]

[edit] Creation

See also: Allegorical interpretations of Genesis

In "The Literal Interpretation of Genesis" Augustine took the view that everything in the universe was created simultaneously by God, and not in seven calendar days like a plain account of Genesis would require. He argued that the six-day structure of creation presented in the book of Genesis represents a logical framework, rather than the passage of time in a physical way - it would bear a spiritual, rather than physical, meaning, which is no less literal. Augustine also doesn’t envisage original sin as originating structural changes in the universe, and even suggests that the bodies of Adam and Eve were already created mortal before the Fall. Apart from his specific views, Augustine recognizes that the interpretation of the creation story is difficult, and remarks that we should be willing to change our mind about it as new information comes up. [4]

In "The City of God", Augustine also defended what would be called today as young Earth creationism. In the specific passage, Augustine rejected both the immortality of the human race proposed by pagans, and contemporary ideas of ages (such as those of certain Greeks and Egyptians) that differed from the Church's sacred writings:

Let us, then, omit the conjectures of men who know not what they say, when they speak of the nature and origin of the human race. For some hold the same opinion regarding men that they hold regarding the world itself, that they have always been... They are deceived, too, by those highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of many thousand years, though, reckoning by the sacred writings, we find that not 6000 years have yet passed.

Augustine, Of the Falseness of the History Which Allots Many Thousand Years to the World’s Past, The City of God, Book 12: Chapt. 10 [AD 419].

[edit] Original Sin

Main article: Original Sin

Augustine taught that Original Sin was transmitted by concupiscence (roughly, lust), weakening the will[20] and making humanity a massa damnata[20] (mass of perdition, condemned crowd). In the struggle against Pelagianism, Augustine's teaching was confirmed by many councils, especially the Second Council of Orange.[20] The identification of concupiscence and Original Sin, however, was challenged by Anselm and condemned in 1567 by Pope Pius V.[20]

Augustine's formulation of the doctrine of original sin has substantially influenced both Catholic and Reformed (that is, Calvinist) theology. His understanding of sin and grace was developed against that of Pelagius.[21] Expositions on the topics are found in his works On Original Sin, On the Predestination of the Saints, On the Gift of Perseverance and On Nature and Grace.

Original sin, according to Augustine, consists of the guilt of Adam which all human beings inherit. As sinners, human beings are utterly depraved in nature, lack the freedom to do good, and cannot respond to the will of God without divine grace. Grace is irresistible, results in conversion, and leads to perseverance.[21] Augustine's idea of predestination rests on the assertion that God has foreordained, from eternity, those who will be saved. The number of the elect is fixed.[21] God has chosen the elect certainly and gratuitously, without any previous merit (ante merita) on their part.

The Roman Catholic Church considers Augustine's teaching to be consistent with free will.[22] He often said that any can be saved if they wish.[22] While God knows who will be saved and who won't, with no possibility that one destined to be lost will be saved, this knowledge represents God's perfect knowledge of how humans will freely choose their destinies.[22]

[edit] Ecclesiology

See also: Ecclesiology

Augustine developed his doctrine of the chuch principally in reaction to the Donatist sect. He taught a distinction between the "church visible" and "church invisible". The former is the institutional body on earth which proclaims salvation and administers the sacraments while the latter is the invisible body of the elect, made up of genuine believers from all ages, and who are known only to God. The visible church will be made up of "wheat" and "tares", that is, good and wicked people, until the end of time. This concept countered the Donatist claim that they were the only "true" or "pure" church on earth.[21]

Augustine's ecclesiology was more fully developed in City of God. There he conceives of the church as a heavenly city or kingdom, ruled by love, which will ultimately triumph over all earthly empires which are self-indulgent and ruled by pride. Augustine followed Cyprian in teaching that the bishops of the church are the successors of the apostles.[21]

[edit] Sacramental theology

Also in reaction against the Donatists, Augustine developed a distinction between the "regularity" and "validity" of the sacraments. Regular sacraments are performed by clergy of the Catholic (that is, the legitimate) church while sacraments performed by schismatics are considered irregular. Nevertheless, the validity of the sacraments do not depend upon the holiness of the priests who perform them; therefore, irregular sacraments are still accepted as valid provided they are done in the name of Christ and in the manner prescribed by the church. On this point Augustine departs from the earlier teaching of Cyprian, who taught that converts from schismatic movements must be re-baptised.[21]

Against the Pelagians Augustine strongly stressed the importance of infant baptism. He believed that no one would be saved unless he or she had received baptism in order to be cleansed from original sin. He also maintained that unbaptized children would go to hell. It was not until the 12th century that pope Innocent III accepted the doctrine of limbo as promulgated by Peter Abelard. It was the place where the unbaptized went and suffered no pain but, as the Church maintained, being still in a state of original sin, they did not deserve Paradise, therefore they did not know happiness either. The Church of England disavowed the state of original sin in the 16th century. Non-conformist religions such as the Unitarians and the Quakers never held to the concept.

[edit] Eschatology

Augustine originally believed that Christ would establish a literal 1,000-year kingdom prior to the general resurrection (premillennialism or chiliasm) but rejected the system as carnal. He was the first theologian to systematically expound a doctrine of amillennialism, although some theologians and Christian historians believe his position was closer to that of modern postmillennialists. The mediaeval Catholic church built its system of eschatology on Augustinian amillennialism, where the Christ rules the earth spiritually through his triumphant church.[23] At the Reformation, theologians such as John Calvin accepted amillennialism while rejecting aspects of mediaeval ecclesiology which had been built on Augustine's teaching.

Augustine taught that the eternal fate of the soul is determined at death,[20][24] and that purgatorial fires of the intermediate state purify only those that died in communion with the Church. His teaching provided fuel for later theology.[20]

[edit] Just War

Augustine developed a theology of just war, that is, war that is acceptable under certain conditions. Firstly, war must occur for a good and just purpose rather than for self-gain or as an exercise of power. Secondly, just war must be waged by a properly instituted authority such as the state. Thirdly, love must be a central motive even in the midst of violence.[25]

[edit] Augustine and lust

Augustine struggled with lust throughout his life. He associated sexual desire with the sin of Adam, and believed that it was still sinful, even though the Fall has made it part of human nature.

In the Confessions, Augustine describes his personal struggle in vivid terms: "But I, wretched, most wretched, in the very commencement of my early youth, had begged chastity of Thee, and said, 'Grant me chastity and continence, only not yet.'"[26] At sixteen Augustine moved to Carthage where again he was plagued by this "wretched sin":

There seethed all around me a cauldron of lawless loves. I loved not yet, yet I loved to love, and out of a deep-seated want, I hated myself for wanting not. I sought what I might love, in love with loving, and I hated safety... To love then, and to be beloved, was sweet to me; but more, when I obtained to enjoy the person I loved. I defiled, therefore, the spring of friendship with the filth of concupiscence, and I beclouded its brightness with the hell of lustfulness.

[27]

For Augustine, the evil was not in the sexual act itself, but rather in the emotions that typically accompany it. To the pious virgins raped during the sack of Rome, he writes, "Truth, another's lust cannot pollute thee." Chastity is "a virtue of the mind, and is not lost by rape, but is lost by the intention of sin, even if unperformed."[22]

In short, Augustine's life experience led him to consider lust to be one of the most grievous sins, and a serious obstacle to the virtuous life.

[edit] The Jews

Against certain Christian movements rejecting the use of Hebrew Scriptures, Augustine countered that God had chosen the Jews as a special people, though he also considered the scattering of Jews by the Roman empire to be a fulfillment of prophecy.[28] [29]

Augustine also quotes part of the same prophecy that says "Slay them not, lest they should at last forget Thy law". Augustine argued that God had allowed the Jews to survive this dispersion as a warning to Christians, thus they were to be permitted to dwell in Christian lands. Augustine further argued that the Jews would be converted at the end of time.[30]

[edit] Prophetic Exegesis

Augustine spoke on prophetic exegesis in his book “The City of God.”[31]

[edit] Mystical Babylon

Augustine applied the term "Babylon" to Rome calling it "western Babylon," and "mystical Babylon":

"Babylon, like a first Rome, ran its course along with the city of God. . . . Rome herself is like a second Babylon."[32]

"The city of Rome was founded, like another Babylon, and as it were the daughter of the former Babylon, by which God was pleased to conquer the whole world, and subdue it far and wide by bringing it into one fellowship of government and laws.”[33]

[edit] Four Kingdoms followed by Antichrist

Augustine commends the reading of Jerome.

"In prophetic vision he [Daniel] had seen four beasts, signifying four kingdoms, and the fourth conquered by a certain king, who is recognized as Antichrist, and after this the eternal kingdom of the Son of man, that is to say, of Christ. . . . Some have interpreted these four kingdoms as signifying those of the Assyrians, Persians, Macedonians, and Romans. They who desire to understand the fitness of this interpretation may read Jerome's book on Daniel, which is written with a sufficiency of care and erudition."[34]

[edit] Antichrist in the Church?

Augustine inclined toward the idea that the Antichrist or Man of Sin would be an apostate body in the church itself.

"It is uncertain in what temple he shall sit, whether in that ruin of the temple which was built by Solomon, or in the Church; for the apostle would not call the temple of any idol or demon the temple of God. And on this account some think that in this passage Antichrist means not the prince himself alone, but his whole body, that is, the mass of men who adhere to him, along with him their prince: and they also think that we should render the Greek more exactly were we to read, not 'in the temple of God,' but 'for' or 'as the temple of God,' is if he himself were the temple of God, the Church."[35]

[edit] To reign three and a half years

Augustine expected the antichrist to reign three years and a half

"But he who reads this passage, even half asleep, cannot fail to see that the kingdom of Antichrist shall fiercely, though for a short time, assail the Church before the last judgment of God shall introduce the eternal reign of the saints. For it is patent from the context that time, times and half a time, means a year, and two years, and half a year, that is to say, three years and a half. Sometimes in Scripture the same thing is indicated by months. For though the word times seems to be used here in the Latin indefinitely, that is only because the Latins have no dual, as the Greeks have, and as the Hebrews also are said to have. Times, therefore, is used for two times.”[36]

[edit] St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas

For quotations of St. Augustine by St. Thomas Aquinas see Aquinas and the Sacraments and Thought of Thomas Aquinas Part I.

[edit] Books

[edit] Letters

  • On the Catechising of the Uninstructed
  • On Faith and the Creed
  • Concerning Faith of Things Not Seen
  • On the Profit of Believing
  • On the Creed: A Sermon to Catechumens
  • On Continence
  • On the Good of Marriage
  • On Holy Virginity
  • On the Good of Widowhood
  • On Lying
  • To Consentius: Against Lying
  • On the Work of Monks
  • On Patience
  • On Care to be Had For the Dead
  • On the Morals of the Catholic Church
  • On the Morals of the Manichaeans
  • On Two Souls, Against the Manichaeans
  • Acts or Disputation Against Fortunatus the Manichaean
  • Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental
  • Reply to Faustus the Manichaean
  • Concerning the Nature of Good, Against the Manichaeans
  • On Baptism, Against the Donatists
  • Answer to Letters of Petilian, Bishop of Cirta
  • The Correction of the Donatists
  • Merits and Remission of Sin, and Infant Baptism
  • On the Spirit and the Letter
  • On Nature and Grace
  • On Man's Perfection in Righteousness
  • On the Proceedings of Pelagius
  • On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin
  • On Marriage and Concupiscence
  • On the Soul and its Origin
  • Against Two Letters of the Pelagians
  • On Grace and Free Will
  • On Rebuke and Grace
  • The Predestination of the Saints/Gift of Perseverance
  • Our Lord's Sermon on the Mount
  • The Harmony of the Gospels
  • Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament
  • Tractates on the Gospel of John
  • Homilies on the First Epistle of John
  • Soliloquies
  • The Enarrations, or Expositions, on the Psalms
  • On the Immortality of the Soul

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Archimandrite [now Archbishop] Chrysostomos. "Book Review: The Place of Blessed Augustine in the Orthodox Church". Orthodox Tradition II (3&4): 40-43. Retrieved on 2007-06-28.
  2. ^ "Blessed Augustine of Hippo: His Place in the Orthodox Church: A Corrective Compilation". Orthodox Tradition XIV (4): 33-35. Retrieved on 2007-06-28.
  3. ^ "Carthage was also near the countries over the sea, and distinguished by illustrious renown,so that it had a bishop of more than ordinary influence, who could afford to disregard a number of conspiring enemies because he saw himself joined by letters of communion to the Roman Church, in which the supremacy of an apostolic chair has always flourished" Letter 43 Chapter 9
  4. ^ Patricia Hampl. The Confessions by St Augustine (preface). Vintage, 1998. ISBN 0375700218 - Marcus Dods. The City of God by St Augustine (preface). Modern Library edition, 2000. ISBN 0679783199 - Norman Cantor. The Civilization of the Middle Ages, A Completely Revised and Expanded Edition of Medieval History p74. Harper Perennial, 1994. ISBN 0060925531 - Vincent Serralda. Le Berbère...lumière de l'Occident. Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1989. ISBN 2723302393 - René Pottier. Saint Augustin le Berbère. Fernand Lanore, 2006. ISBN 2851572822 - Gabriel Camps. Les Berbères. Editions de France, 1995. ISBN 978-2877722216 - Gilbert Meynier. L'Algérie des origines p73. La Découverte, 2007. ISBN 2707150886 etc
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Encyclopedia Americana, v.2, p. 685. Danbury, CT:Grolier Incorporated, 1997. ISBN 0-7172-0129-5.
  6. ^ Andrew Knowles and Pachomios Penkett, Augustine and his World Ch.2.
  7. ^ Monica was a Berber name derived from the Libyan deity Mon worshiped in the neighbouring town of Thibilis. However, we don’t have any information that Monica’s husband was a Berber too.
  8. ^ According to J.Fersuson and Garry Wills, Adeodatus, the name of Augustine's son is a Latinization of the Berber name Iatanbaal (given by God).
  9. ^ Passage based on F.A. Wright and T.A. Sinclair, A History of Later Latin Literature (London 1931), pp. 56 ff.
  10. ^ Thomas Cahill, How the Irish Saved Civilization Ch.2.
  11. ^ Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation: A History (Penguin Group, 2005) p112.
  12. ^ History of Western Philosophy, 1946, reprinted Unwin Paperbacks 1979, pp 352-3
  13. ^ Confessiones Liber X: commentary on 10.8.12 (in Latin)
  14. ^ J.-P. Migne, (translator) St. Augustine's Letter 211 (ed.) Patrologiae Latinae Volume 33, (1845).
  15. ^ Augustine of Hippo The Confessions
  16. ^ Augustine of Hippo Sermons 358,1 "Victoria veritatis est caritas"
  17. ^ Augustine of Hippo Sermons 336, 1 PL 38, 1472
  18. ^ Augustine of Hippo Sermon on 1 John 7, 8 [1] Cf. Augustine On Galatians 6:1: "And if you shout at him, love him inwardly; you may urge, wheedle, rebuke, rage; love, and do whatever you wish. A father after all, doesn’t hate his son; and if necessary, a father gives his son a whipping; he inflicts pain, to insure well-being. So that’s the meaning of in a spirit of mildness (Gal. 6:1).” Sermon 163B:3:1, The Works of Saint Augustine: A New Translation for the 21st Century, (Sermons 148-153), 1992, part 3, vol. 5, p. 182. ISBN 1565480074
  19. ^ Augustine's Confessions : critical essaysedited by William E. Mann. Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006. - xii, 240 s
  20. ^ a b c d e f Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  21. ^ a b c d e f Justo L. Gonzalez (1970-1975). A History of Christian Thought: Volume 2 (From Augustine to the eve of the Reformation). Abingdon Press.
  22. ^ a b c d Catholic Encyclopedia (1914)
  23. ^ Craig L. Blomberg (2006). From Pentecost to Patmos. Apollos, 519.
  24. ^ Enchiridion 110
  25. ^ Justo L. Gonzalez (1984). The Story of Christianity. HarperSanFrancisco.
  26. ^ [2]Confessions, Saint Augustine, Book Eight, Chapter 17.
  27. ^ [3] Confessions, Saint Augustine, Book Three, Chapter 1.
  28. ^ Diarmaid MacCulloch. The Reformation (Penguin Group, 2005) p8.
  29. ^ City of God, book 18, chapter 46.
  30. ^ J. Edwards, The Spanish Inquisition (Stroud, 1999), pp33-5.
  31. ^ Froom, L.E., 1950, "The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers," Vol. 1, Chp. 20, pp. 473-491
  32. ^ “City of God” Book 18, Chapter 2
  33. ^ “City of God” Book 18, Chapter 22
  34. ^ “City of God” Book 20, Chapter 23
  35. ^ “City of God” Book 20, Chapter 19
  36. ^ “City of God” Book 20, Chapter 23

[edit] References

aka The Story of Philosophy, Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2001, ISBN 0-7894-7994-X
(subtitled on cover: The Essential Guide to the History of Western Philosophy)
g Saint Augustine, pages 30, 144; City of God 51, 52, 53 and The Confessions 50, 51, 52
- additional in the Dictionary of the History of Ideas for Saint Augustine and Neo-Platonism

[edit] In the arts

  • Indie/rock band Band of Horses have a song called "St. Augustine". It seems that the song speaks of somebody's desire for fame and recognition, rather than their desire for truth.
  • Christian rock band Petra dedicated a song to St. Augustine called "St. Augustine's Pears". It is based on one of Augustine's writings in his book "Confessions" where he tells of how he stole some neighbor's pears without being hungry, and how that petty theft haunted him through his life.[5]
  • Jon Foreman, lead singer and song writer of the alternative rock band Switchfoot wrote a song called "Something More (Augustine's Confession)", based after the life and book, "Confessions", of Augustine.
  • For his 1993 album "Ten Summoner's Tales", Sting wrote a song entitled "Saint Augustine in Hell", with lyrics 'Make me chaste, but not just yet' alluding to Augustine's famous prayer, 'Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet'.
  • Bob Dylan, for his 1967 album John Wesley Harding penned a song entitled "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine" (also covered by Thea Gilmore in her 2002 album Songs from the Gutter.). The song's opening lines ("I dreamed I saw Saint Augustine / Alive as you or me") are likely based on the opening lines of " I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night", a song crafted in 1936 by Earl Robinson detailing the death of the famous American labor-activist who, himself, was an influential songwriter.
  • Roberto Rossellini directed the film "Agostino d'Ippona" (Augustine of Hippo) for Italy's RAI-TV in 1972.
  • Alternative rock band Sherwood's album "Sing, But Keep Going" references a famous quote attributed to St. Augustine on the inside cover.
  • After being unintentionally baptised by Ned Flanders in episode '3F01' - "Home Sweet Home - Diddily-Dum-Doodily", Homer Simpson says, "Oh, Bartholomew, I feel like St. Augustine of Hippo after his conversion by Ambrose of Milan."
  • Christian singer Kevin Max mentions St. Augustine in his song "Angel With No Wings". He sings So come on back when you can make some tea/And read Saint Augustine.

[edit] Bibliography

  • Brown, Peter. Augustine of Hippo. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967. ISBN 0-520-00186-9
  • Gareth B. Matthews. Augustine. Blackwell, 2005. ISBN 0-631-23348-2
  • O'Donnell, James J. Augustine: A New Biography. New York: HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 0-06-053537-7
  • Ruickbie, Leo. Witchcraft Out of the Shadows. London: Robert Hale, 2004. ISBN 0-7090-7567-7, pp. 57-8.
  • Tanquerey, Adolphe. The Spiritual Life: A Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology. Reprinted Ed. (original 1930). Rockford, IL: Tan Books, 2000. ISBN 0-89555-659-6, p. 37.
  • von Heyking, John. Augustine and Politics as Longing in the World. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8262-1349-9
  • Orbis Augustinianus sive conventuum O. Erem. S. A. chorographica et topographica descriptio Augustino Lubin, Paris, 1659, 1671, 1672.
  • Regle de St. Augustin pour les religieuses de son ordre; et Constitutions de la Congregation des Religieuses du Verbe-Incarne et du Saint-Sacrament (Lyon: Chez Pierre Guillimin, 1662), pp. 28-29. Cf. later edition published at Lyon (Chez Briday, Libraire,1962), pp. 22-24. English edition, The Rule of Saint Augustine and the Constitutions of the Order of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament (New York: Schwartz, Kirwin, and Fauss, 1893), pp. 33-35.
  • Zumkeller O.S.A.,Adolar (1986). Augustine's ideal of Religious life. Fordham University Press, New York.
  • Zumkeller O.S.A.,Adolar (1987). Augustine's Rule. Augustinian Press, Villanova,

Pennsylvania U.S.A..

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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373-493AD Saint Patrick

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick

Saint Patrick

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Saint Patrick

DiedMarch 17, AD 461 or AD 493
Venerated inRoman Catholicism, the Anglican Church of Ireland, the Lutheran Church and the Orthodox Church
Feast17 March (Saint Patrick's Day)
PatronageIreland, Nigeria, Montserrat,Engineers[1]
Saints Portal
For information about the holiday, see: Saint Patrick's Day
"St Patrick" redirects here, for other uses, see St. Patrick's.

Saint Patrick (Latin: Patricius[2], Irish: Naomh Pádraig) was a Christian missionary and is the patron saint of Ireland along with Brigid of Kildare and Columba. Patrick was born in Roman Britain. When he was about sixteen he was captured by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. He entered the church, as his father and grandfather had before him, becoming a deacon and a bishop. He later returned to Ireland as a missionary, working in the north and west of the island, but little is known about the places where he actually worked and no link can be made with Patrick and any church. By the eighth century he had become the patron saint of Ireland. The Irish monastery system evolved after the time of Patrick and the Irish church did not develop the diocesan model that Patrick and the other early missionaries had tried to establish.

The available body of evidence does not allow the dates of Patrick's life to be fixed with certainty, but it appears that he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. Two letters from him survive, along with later hagiographies from the seventh century onwards. Many of these works cannot be taken as authentic traditions. Uncritical acceptance of the Annals of Ulster (see below) would imply that he lived from 373 to 493, and ministered in northern Ireland from 433 onwards.

Contents

[hide]

[edit] Background

Most modern studies of Saint Patrick follow a variant of T. F. O'Rahilly's "Two Patricks" theory. That is to say, many of the traditions later attached to Saint Patrick originally concerned Palladius, a deacon from Gaul who came to Ireland, perhaps sent by Pope Celestine I (died 431). Palladius was not the only early cleric in Ireland at this time. Saints Auxilius, Secundinus and Iserninus are associated with early churches in Munster and Leinster. By this reading, Palladius was active in Ireland until the 460s.[3]

Prosper of Aquitaine's contemporary chronicle states:

Palladius was ordained by Pope Celestine and sent to the Irish believers in Christ as their first bishop.[4]

Prosper associates this with the visits of Germanus of Auxerre to Britain to suppress the Pelagian heresy and it has been suggested that Palladius and his colleagues were sent to Ireland to ensure that exiled Pelagians did not establish themselves among the Irish Christians. The appointment of Palladius and his fellow-bishops was not obviously a mission to convert the Irish, but more probably intended to minister to existing Christian communities in Ireland.[5] The sites of churches associated with Palladius and his colleagues are close to royal centres of the period: Secundus is remembered by Dunshaughlin, County Meath, close to the Hill of Tara which is associated with the High King of Ireland; Kilashee, County Kildare, close to Naas with links with the Kings of Leinster, is probably named for Auxilius. This activity was limited to the southern half of Ireland, and there is no evidence for them in Ulster or Connacht.[6]

Although the evidence for contacts with Gaul is clear, the borrowings from Latin into the Old Irish language show that links with former Roman Britain were many.[7] Saint Iserninus, who appears to be of the generation of Palladius, is thought to have been a Briton, and is associated with the lands of the Uí Cheinnselaig in Leinster. The Palladian mission should not be contrasted with later "British" missions, but forms a part of them.[8]

[edit] Patrick in his own words

Slemish, County Antrim, where Patrick is said to have worked as a herdsman while a slave.
Slemish, County Antrim, where Patrick is said to have worked as a herdsman while a slave.

Two Latin letters survive which are generally accepted to have been written by Patrick. These are the Declaration (Latin: Confessio) and the Letter to the soldiers of Coroticus (Latin: Epistola). The Declaration is the more important of the two. In it Patrick gives a short account of his life and his mission.

Patrick was born at Banna Venta Berniae,[9] Calpornius his father was a deacon, his grandfather Potitus a priest. When he was about sixteen, he was captured and carried off as a slave to Ireland.[10] Patrick worked as a herdsman, remaining a captive for six years. He writes that his faith grew in captivity, and that he prayed daily. After six years he heard a voice telling him that he would soon go home, and then that his ship was ready. Fleeing his master, he travelled to a port, two hundred miles away he says, where he found a ship and, after various adventures, returned home to his family, now in his early twenties.[11]

Patrick recounts that he had a vision a few years after returning home:

I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: "The Voice of the Irish". As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea—and they cried out, as with one voice: "We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.[12]

Much of the Declaration concerns charges made against Patrick by his fellow Christians at a trial. What these charges were, he does not say explicitly, but he writes that he returned the gifts which wealthy women gave him, did not accept payment for baptisms, nor for ordaining priests, and indeed paid for many gifts to kings and judges, and paid for the sons of chiefs to accompany him. It is concluded, therefore, that he was accused of some sort of financial impropriety, and perhaps of having obtained his bishopric in Ireland with personal gain in mind.[13]

From this same evidence, something can be seen of Patrick's mission. He writes that he "baptised thousands of people". He ordained priests to lead the new Christian communities. He converted wealthy women, some of whom became nuns in the face of family opposition. He also dealt with the sons of kings, converting them too.[14]

Patrick's position as a foreigner in Ireland was not an easy one. His refusal to accept gifts from kings placed him outside the normal ties of kinship, fosterage and affinity. Legally he was without protection, and he says that he was on one occasion beaten, robbed of all he had, and put in chains, perhaps awaiting execution.[15]

Murchiú's life of Saint Patrick contains a supposed prophecy by the druids which gives an impression of how Patrick and other Christian missionaries were seen by those hostile to them:

Across the sea will come Adze-head,[16] crazed in the head,
his cloak with hole for the head, his stick bent in the head.
He will chant impieties from a table in the front of his house;
all his people will answer: "so be it, so be it."[17]

The second piece of evidence from Patrick's life is the Letter to Coroticus or Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus. In this, Patrick writes an open letter announcing that he has excommunicated certain British soldiers of Coroticus who have raided in Ireland, along with Picts and Irishmen, taking some of Patrick's converts into slavery. Coroticus, based largely on an 8th century gloss , is taken to be King Ceretic of Alt Clut.[18] It has been suggested that it was the sending of this letter which provoked the trial which Patrick mentions in the Confession.[19]

[edit] Dating Patrick's life and mission

According to the latest reconstruction of the old Irish annals, Patrick died in AD 493, a date accepted by some modern historians.[20] Prior to the 1940s it was believed without doubt that he died in 461 and thus had lived in the first half of the 5th century.[21] A lecture entitled "The Two Patricks", published in 1942 by T. F. O'Rahilly, caused enormous controversy by proposing that there had been two "Patricks", Palladius and Patrick, and that what we now know of St. Patrick was in fact in part a conscious effort to meld the two into one hagiographic personality. Decades of contention eventually ended with most historians now asserting that Patrick was indeed most likely to have been active in the mid-to-late 5th century.

While Patrick's own writings contain no dates, they do contain information which can be used to date them. Patrick's quotations from the Acts of the Apostles follow the Vulgate, strongly suggesting that his ecclesiastical conversion did not take place before the early fifth century. Patrick also refers to the Franks as being pagan. Their conversion is dated to the period 496–508.[22]

The compiler of the Annals of Ulster stated that in the year 553:

I have found this in the Book of Cuanu: The relics of Patrick were placed sixty years after his death in a shrine by Colum Cille. Three splendid halidoms were found in the burial-place: his goblet, the Angel's Gospel, and the Bell of the Testament. This is how the angel distributed the halidoms: the goblet to Dún, the Bell of the Testament to Ard Macha, and the Angel's Gospel to Colum Cille himself. The reason it is called the Angel's Gospel is that Colum Cille received it from the hand of the angel.[23]

The reputed burial place of St. Patrick in Downpatrick
The reputed burial place of St. Patrick in Downpatrick

The placing of this event in the year 553 would certainly seem to place Patrick's death in 493, or at least in the early years of that decade, and indeed the Annals of Ulster report in 493:

Patrick, arch-apostle, or archbishop and apostle of the Irish, rested on the 16th of the Kalends of April in the 120th year of his age, in the 60th year after he had come to Ireland to baptize the Irish.

There is also the additional evidence of his disciple, Mochta, who died in 535.[24]

St. Patrick is said to be buried under Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, County Down alongside St. Brigid and St. Columba, although this has never been proven. The Battle for the Body of St. Patrick demonstrates the importance of both him as a spiritual leader, and of his body as an object of veneration, in early Christian Ireland.

[edit] Early traditions

An early document which is silent concerning Patrick is the letter of Columbanus to Pope Boniface IV of about 613. Columbanus writes that Ireland's Christianity "was first handed to us by you, the successors of the holy apostles", apparently referring to Palladius only, and ignoring Patrick.[25] Writing on the Easter controversy in 632 or 633, Cummian—it is uncertain whether this is the Cummian associated with Clonfert or Cumméne of Iona— does refer to Patrick, calling him our papa, that is pope or primate.[26]

Two works by late seventh century hagiographers of Patrick have survived. These are the writings of Tírechán, and Vita sancti Patricii of Muirchu moccu Machtheni. Both writers relied upon an earlier work, now lost, the Book of Ultán.[27] This Ultán, probably the same person as Ultan of Ardbraccan, was Tírechán's foster-father. His obituary is given in the Annals of Ulster under the year 657.[28] These works thus date from a century and a half after Patrick's death.

Tírechán writes

"I found four names for Patrick written in the book of Ultán, bishop of the tribe of Conchobar: holy Magonus (that is, "famous"); Succetus (that is, the god of war); Patricius (that is, father of the citizens); Cothirtiacus (because he served four houses of druids)."[29]

Muirchu records much the same information, adding that "[h]is mother was named Concessa."[30]

The Patrick portrayed by Tírechán and Muirchu is a martial figure, who contests with druids, overthrows pagan idols, and curses kings and kingdoms.[31] On occasions their accounts contradict Patrick's own writings: Tírechán states that Patrick accepted gifts from female converts although Patrick himself flatly denies this. However, the emphasis Tírechán and Muirchu placed on female converts, and in particular royal and noble women who became nuns, is thought to be a genuine insight into Patrick's work of conversion. Patrick also worked with the unfree and the poor, encouraging them to vows of monastic chastity. Tírechán's account suggests that many early Patrician churches were combined with nunneries founded by Patrick's noble female converts.[32]

The martial Patrick found in Tírechán and Muirchu, and in later accounts, echoes similar figures found during the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity. It may be doubted whether such accounts are an accurate representation of Patrick's time, although such violent events may well have occurred as Christians gained in strength and numbers.[33]

Much of the detail supplied by Tírechán and Muirchu, in particular the churches established by Patrick, and the monasteries founded by his converts, may relate to the situation in the seventh century, when the churches which claimed ties to Patrick, and in particular Armagh, were expanding their influence throughout Ireland in competition with the church of Kildare. In the same period, Wilfred, Archbishop of York, claimed to speak, as metropolitan archbishop, "for all the northern part of Britain and of Ireland" at a council held in Rome in the time of Pope Agatho, thus claiming jurisdiction over the Irish church.[34]

Other presumed early materials include the Irish annals, which contain records from the Chronicle of Ireland. These sources have conflated Palladius and Patrick.[35] Another early document is the so-called First Synod of Saint Patrick. This is a seventh century document, once, but no longer, taken as to contain a fifth century original text. It apparently collects the results of several early synods, and represents an era when pagans were still a major force in Ireland. The introduction attributes it to Patrick, Auxilius, and Iserninus, a claim which "cannot be taken at face value".[36]

[edit] Patrick in legend

The Shamrock
The Shamrock

Pious legend credits Patrick with banishing snakes from the island, though post-glacial Ireland never actually had snakes;[37] one suggestion is that snakes referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids of that time and place, as shown for instance on coins minted in Gaul (see Carnutes), or that it could have referred to beliefs such as Pelagianism, symbolized as “serpents”. Legend also credits Patrick with teaching the Irish about the concept of the Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a 3-leaved clover, using it to highlight the Christian belief of 'three divine persons in the one God' (as opposed to the Arian belief that was popular in Patrick's time). Whether or not these legends are true, the very fact that there are so many legends about Patrick shows how important his ministry was to Ireland. Some Irish legends involve the Oilliphéist, the Caoránach, and the Copóg Phádraig. During his evangelising journey back to Ireland from his parent's home at Birdoswald, he is understood to have carried with him an ash wood walking stick or staff. He thrust this stick into the ground wherever he was evangelising and at the place now known as Aspatria (ash of Patrick) the message of the good news took so long to get through to the people there that the stick had taken root by the time he was ready to move on. The 12th century work Acallam na Senórach tells of Patrick being met by two ancient warriors, Caílte mac Rónáin and Oisín, during his evangelical travels. The two were once members of Fionn mac Cumhaill's warrior band the Fianna, and somehow survived to Patrick's time. They travel with the saint and tell him their stories.

[edit] Sainthood and remembrance

March 17, popularly known as St. Patrick's Day, is believed to be his death date and is the date celebrated as his feast day. The day became a feast day in the universal church due to the influence of the Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding, as a member of the commission for the reform of the Breviary [38] in the early part of the 17th century.

For most of Christianity's first thousand years, canonisations were done on the diocesan or regional level. Relatively soon after the death of people considered to be very holy people, the local Church affirmed that they could be liturgically celebrated as saints. As a result, St. Patrick has never been formally canonised by a Pope; nevertheless, the Church declares that he is a Saint in Heaven (he is in the List of Saints). He is still widely venerated in Ireland and elsewhere today.[39]

St. Patrick is also venerated in the Orthodox Church, especially among English-speaking Orthodox Christians living in the United Kingdom and Ireland and in North America[40]. There are Orthodox icons dedicated to him.[41]

[edit] Saint Patrick in literature

Robert Southey wrote a ballad called Saint Patrick's Purgatory, based on popular legends surrounding the saint's name.

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Roman Catholic Patron Saints Index. Retrieved on 25 August 2006.
  2. ^ Brown, pp. 51
  3. ^ Byrne, pp. 78–79; De Paor, pp. 6–7 & 88–89; Duffy, pp. 16–17; Fletcher, pp. 80–83; MacQuarrie, p. 34; Ó Cróinín, pp. 22–23; Thomas, pp.300–306; Yorke, p. 112.
  4. ^ De Paor, p. 79.
  5. ^ There may well have been Christian "Irish" people in Britain at this time; Goidelic-speaking people were found on both sides of the Irish Sea, with Irish being spoken from Cornwall to Argyll. The influence of the Kingdom of Dyfed may have been of particular importance. See Charles-Edwards, pp. 161–172; Dark, pp.188–190; Ó Cróinín, pp. 17–18; Thomas, pp. 297–300.
  6. ^ Duffy, pp. 16–17; Thomas, p. 305.
  7. ^ Charles-Edwards, pp. 184–187; Thomas, pp. 297–300; Yorke, pp. 112–114.
  8. ^ Charles-Edwards, pp. 233–240.
  9. ^ This location is not certain, and a variety of interpretations have been made. De Paor glosses it as "[probably near Carlisle]" and Thomas argues at length for the area of Birdoswald, twenty miles east of Carlisle on Hadrians Wall. See De Paor, pp. 88 & 96; Thomas, pp. 310–314.
  10. ^ De Paor, p. 96.
  11. ^ De Paor, pp. 99–100; Charles-Edwards, p. 229.
  12. ^ De Paor, p. 100. De Paor glosses Foclut as "west of Killala Bay, in County Mayo", but it appears that the location of Fochoill (Foclut or Voclut) is still a matter of debate. See Charles-Edwards, p. 215.
  13. ^ Thomas, pp. 337–341; De Paor, pp. 104–107; Charles-Edwards, pp. 217–219.
  14. ^ Charles-Edwards, pp. 219–225; Thomas, pp. 337–341; De Paor, pp. 104–107.
  15. ^ De Paor, p. 107; Charles-Edwards, p. 221–222.
  16. ^ This is presumed to refer to Patrick's tonsure.
  17. ^ After Ó Cróinín, p.32; De Paor, p. 180. See also Ó Cróinín, pp. 30–33.
  18. ^ De Paor, pp. 109–113; Charles-Edwards, pp. 226–230.
  19. ^ Thomas, pp. 339–343.
  20. ^ See Dumville, pp. 116-12; Wood, p. 45 n. 5.
  21. ^ Byrne, pp. 78–82; the notes following Tírechán's hagiography in the Book of Armagh state that Palladius "was also called Patrick, while other sources have vague mentions of 'two Patricks'", Byrne, p.78. See De Paor, pp. 203–206, for the notes referred to.
  22. ^ Stancliffe.
  23. ^ De Paor, p. 122.
  24. ^ De Paor, p. 121.
  25. ^ De Paor, pp. 141–143; Charles-Edwards, p. 182–183. Bede writing a century later, refers to Palladius only.
  26. ^ De Paor, pp 151–153; Charles-Edwards, p. 182–183.
  27. ^ Aideen O'Leary, "An Irish Apocryphal Apostle: Muirchú's Portrayal of Saint Patrick" The Harvard Theological Review 89.3 (July 1996), pp. 287-301, traces Muichù's sources and his explicit parallels of Patrick with Moses, the bringer of rechte Litre, the "letter of the Law"; the adversary, King Lóegaire, takes the role of Pharaoh.
  28. ^ Annals of Ulster, AU 657.1: "Obitus ... Ultán moccu Conchobair."
  29. ^ De Paor, p. 154.
  30. ^ De Paor, pp. 175 & 177.
  31. ^ Their works are found in De Paor, pp. 154–174 & 175–197 respectively.
  32. ^ Charles-Edwards, pp. 224–226.
  33. ^ Ó Cróinín, pp. 30–33. Ramsay MacMullen's Christianizing the Roman Empire (Yale University Press, 1984) examines the better-recorded mechanics of conversion in the Empire, and forms the basis of Ó Cróinín's conclusions.
  34. ^ Charles-Edwards, pp. 416–417 & 429–440.
  35. ^ The relevant annals are reprinted in De Paor, pp. 117–130.
  36. ^ De Paor's conclusions at p. 135, the document itself is given at pp. 135–138.
  37. ^ Why Ireland Has No Snakes - National Zoo. Retrieved on 25 August 2006.
  38. ^ The Catholic Encyclopedia: Luke Wadding. Retrieved on 15 February 2007.
  39. ^ Ask a Franciscan: Saints Come From All Nations - March 2001 Issue of St. Anthony Messenger Magazine Online. Retrieved on 25 August 2006.
  40. ^ St Patrick the Bishop of Armagh and Enlightener of Ireland. Retrieved on 11 November 2007.
  41. ^ Orthodox Icon of St. Patrick of Ireland. Retrieved on 25 August 2006.

[edit] References

Wikisource
Wikisource has original works written by or about:
  • Brown, Peter, The Rise of Western Christianity. 2nd ed. Blackwell, Oxford, 2003. ISBN 0-631-22138-7
  • Byrne, Francis J., Irish Kings and High-Kings. Batsford, London, 1973. ISBN 0-7134-5882-8
  • Dark, Ken, Britain and the end of the Roman Empire. Tempus, Stroud, 2000. ISBN 0-7524-2532-3
  • De Paor, Liam, Saint Patrick's World: The Christian Culture of Ireland's Apostolic Age. Four Courts, Dublin, 1993. ISBN 1-85182-144-9
  • Duffy, Seán (ed.), Atlas of Irish History. Gill and Macmillan, Dublin, 1997. ISBN 0-7171-3093-2
  • Dumville, David, "The Death date of St. Patrick" in David Howlett (ed.), The Book of Letters of Saint Patrick the Bishop. Four Courts Press, Dublin, 1994. ISBN 1-85182-136-8
  • Fletcher, Richard, The Conversion of Europe: From Paganism to Christianity 371–1386 AD. Harper Collins, London, 1997. ISBN 0-00-686302-7
  • Hughes, Kathleen, Early Christian Ireland: Introduction to the Sources. Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1972. ISBN 0-340-16145-0
  • Moran, Patrick Francis Cardinal (1913). "St. Patrick". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  • MacQuarrie, Alan, The Saints of Scotland: Essays in Scottish Church History AD 450–1093. John Donald, Edinburgh, 1997. ISBN 0-85976-446-X
  • Ó Cróinín, Dáibhí, Early Medieval Ireland: 400–1200. Longman, London, 1995. ISBN 0-582-01565-0
  • O'Loughlin, Thomas, "Saint Patrick: The Man and his Works" S.P.C.K., London, 1999.
  • O'Rahilly, Thomas F., The Two Patricks: A Lecture on the History of Christianity in Fifth-Century Ireland. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Dublin, 1942.
  • Stancliffe, Claire (2004). "Patrick (fl. 5th cent.)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved on 2007-02-17.
  • Thomas, Charles, Christianity in Roman Britain to AD 500. Batsford, London, 1981. ISBN 0-7134-1442-1
  • Wood, Ian, The Missionary Life: Saints and the Evangelisation of Europe 400-1050. Longman, London, 2001. ISBN 0-582-31213-2
  • Yorke, Barbara, The Conversion of Britain: Religion, Politics and Society in Britain c.600–800. Longman, London, 2006. ISBN 0-582-77292-3

[edit] External links

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390AD "The Apostles' Creed" in communion with the 70-1070AD Millennium

The earliest known formulation of anything like what eventually came to be known around 390AD as the "Apostles' Creed" is the following:

(1) I believe in God the Father Almighty;
(2) And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;
(3) Who was born of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary;
(4) Crucified under Pontius Pilate and buried;
(5) The third day He rose again from the dead,
(6) He ascended into Heaven,
(7) Sitteth at the right hand of the Father,
(8) Whence He shall [future to 390AD] come to judge the living and the dead.
(9) And in the Holy Ghost,
(10) The Holy Church,
(11) The forgiveness of sins;
(12) The resurrection of the body.

This is a beautiful expression of faith. From the time of around 390AD, legend (Rufinus) would attribute it to Christ's Apostles. But the New Testament and Ante-Nicene church "fathers" are surprising silent about any such account attributing any creed to the Apostles save what they teach in the Holy Writ of the New Testament itself. Tertullian is the first to mention a kind of regula doctrinoe, ("Rule of Doctrine"), from around 200AD that shared some points, but point (8) was not one of them. (Tertullian then went on to embrace Montanism). What follows is what some consider to be among the earliest versions of this creed:

"Stop your ears, therefore, when anyone speaks to you at variance with Jesus Christ, who was descended from David, and was also of Mary; who was truly born, and did eat and drink. He was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate; He was truly crucified and [truly died], in the sight of beings in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth. He was also truly raised from the dead, His Father quickening Him, even as after the same manner His Father will so raise up us who believe in Him by Christ Jesus, apart from Whom we do not possess the true life." ~Ignatius of Antioch, around 107AD, Epistle to the Trallians, ix.

As with the aforementioned regula doctrinoe that Tertullian recommended, there is a notable lack from this 107AD statement by Ignatius anything resembling point (8) of the "Apostles' Creed." This suggests that point (8) of the "Apostles' Creed" was a later embellishment. Further, it is worthwhile to note that Ignatius mentions nothing here regarding the Lord's Return from Heaven. He is appears aloof from the alarm regarding Christ's Return that is found in the Apostles' writings throughout the New Testament. It should be acknowledged that Ignatius says nothing here that does not fit the 70-1070AD Millennium and the 70-1070AD Millennium teaches nothing contrary to this statement of faith of Ignatius. Ignatius' own writings show him very eager to complete his journey to martyrdom by reason of his belief in the prompt resurrection-glorification of martyrs to join the blessed & holy martyrs that already preceeded him to glory. This affirms the already commonly held belief that the Millennium of Revelation 20:4 began with the passing of the Apostles' generation, such belief the mainstream view throughout the 70-1070AD period, (the Middle Age).

Scriptures are easily found to provide basis for each of the 12 points listed in the "Apostle's Creed" printed previously above. This is logical since the creed consciously attempts to adopt the Scriptures' pre-70AD outlook as it paraphrases certain points of its message. Curiously unlike the New Testament of Christ's Apostles, however, is the notable lack of urgency regarding the Lord's Return within the "Apostles' Creed." The Gospel message of Jesus & His Apostles was consciously driven by the alarming anticipation of Jesus' Return. That alarm is curiously lacking from the "Apostles' Creed." Where is there here anything like Mat 24:34 & Mat 16:28 & Mark 13:30 & Luke 21:32, and a host of other alarms, LINK ?

(Why does post-70AD Christianity distance itself from the urgent alarm the New Testament associates with the Lord Jesus' Return as though, following the disappearance of the Apostles around 70AD, such alarm is an earmark of error associated with the wayward: from the ancient Montanists, Chiliasts, et al, to the modern Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, 7th Day Adventists and controversial Charismatics, et al?)

But if, indeed, "the Apostles' Creed" was composed by Christ's Apostles, as legend would have it, why does it fail to appear as part of the Bible, the Word of God? Why did not Christ's Apostles make sure to work it into their epistles? Why does the book of Acts neglect to record any collaborated effort by the 12 Apostles of the Lamb to formulate this creed? Why leave its appearance and explanation to legends arising centuries later?

And why have subsequent groups of churchmen felt so free to adapt, alter or embellish this creed, if indeed they thought it was from Christ's Apostles? They have never dared to do such with the Holy Writ. But history records notable variation and evolution of this creed over time amongst various Christian groups. And not one Church Council at any time has confirmed it, nor any other creed for that matter, to be a part of the Word of God, not once. Actions speak louder than legends, Christian actions louder than Christian legends: at no time have Christians regarded "The Apostles' Creed" as "The Word of God." The Bible alone has that deserved honor.

A copy similar to the "Apostles' Creed" was available at the time of the Council of Nicea in 325AD: why did they NOT confirm it then to be the Word of God alongside the Scriptures? The Council of Nicea's refusal to include this creed in the canon resoundingly expresses their lack of confidence that it was composed by Christ's Apostles. But they did formulate their own creed, the Nicene Creed, that largely copies this creed here although it, too, lacks the sense of urgency Jesus & His Apostles attached to the Lord's eagerly anticipated Return. What happened to satisfied the urgency of Christ's Return? What silenced the alarm? (Only the calm disconcern over the Lord Return of 3 John 1:11 offers any trustworthy hint: "Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God." "So, what happened??" is the question that arises when contrasted against the previous 1 John 3:2 "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears,[a]we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.").

Notwithstanding, there is only one word in the "Apostles' Creed" that some would construe as out of harmony with the 70-1070AD Millennium, the workd "shall" in line (8), "Whence He shall [future to 390AD] come to judge the living and the dead."  But the Scriptures teach from Revelation 20:4-6 that the Resurrection-Judgment of the rest of the dead was not expected until the end of the 1000 years. That event, Rev 20:5a, the Resurrection of Judgment of the Rest of the Dead, was still future when this form of the "Apostles' Creed" appeared around the late 4th century AD. Indeed, the "Apostles' Creed" was a a timely fit throughout the period of the 70-1070AD Millennium, especially since the vast, mainstream, majority of Christianity of the period believed themselves to be living during the 1000-year Millennium. That is, they were almost entirely convinced that the beginning of the 1000-year Millennium was already past to their time and the end of the 1000-year Millennium was yet future to their time, LINK. While ProphecyHistory.com affirms that Jesus Returned before His 30AD generation passed away, He could can still be seen seated at the right hand of Father and arising from there to judge the living and the dead among us as He wills, along with His glorified Saints, to which much of global, historic Christianity tacitly agrees, LINK. And 70-1070AD Millennialism also explains why the alarm associated with Jesus' Return has been satisfyingly quieted. My treatment of the Nicene Creed may be found at LINK. It must not be overlooked that virtually all the great Christian leaders and masses of the period also vigorously held to the conviction that the dead & glorified, blessed & holy Saints & Martyrs already ruled over the affairs of men since the time of their already accomplished glorifications, LINK - a clear evidence that they all believed themselves to be living within the period of the 1000 year Millennium of Revelation 20, LINK, as Augustine and his peers openly taught, LINK. Martin Luther, LINK, went on to affirm this as did John Lighfoot, LINK. It should be noted that these highly regarded Christian leaders represent vastly more than just themselves: they represent the masses of Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, who esteem their teachings.

 

Matthew 1:23 And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, "God with us."
Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men!"

 

For anyone who wishes to adopt the "Apostles' Creed" as a boundary line over who is inside or outside the Church it should be noted the following: nowhere does this creed state belief that Jesus is the Word of God; nor that one must obey the New Testament or the Apostles. Nowhere does this creed even mention the Gospel or Scriptures; nor church membership; nor love of the brethren; nor bearing the fruit of the Spirit; nor a whole host of hallmarks of a true Christian as taught by the Word of God.

Simply put, it is ridiculous to condemn someone who:

  1. confesses the name of Jesus before men (Matt 10:32);
  2. confesses that Jesus is the Word of God who came in the flesh (John 1:1);
  3. confesses that Jesus the Son of God (1 John 4:15);
  4. believes Jesus is the Christ who came in the flesh, (1 John 4:2 & 1 John 5:1);
  5. confesses Jesus is Lord while believing in his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 10:9);
  6. worships God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 2:23);
  7. abides in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9);
  8. displays the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-24);
  9. obeys the Gospel of Paul (Rom 2:16 & Rom 16:25);
  10. values the Old Testament for godly instruction (2 Tim 3:15-17);
  11. loves all the saints & brethren, maintaining good standing & fellowship among the churches (Eph 1:15 & Col 1:4 & 1 John 3:14);
  12. yet understands God & Jesus to be present among us now judging the living and the dead among us, that line 8 of the "Apostles' Creed" has become a present reality, no longer relegated to Mankind's future. Wittingly or not, much of global, historic Christianity tacitly testifies to their agreement by their tenacious belief in the active power of resurrected-glorified Saints over the affairs of mortal men, LINK. In so doing, they tacitly affirm the conviction that the Millennium of Rev 20:4, with its First Resurrection, began before their own time.

Romans 8:31-39
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
"For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
NKJV

"The Apostles' Creed" ~Wikipedia

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostles%27_Creed

Apostles' Creed

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The Apostles' Creed (Latin: Symbolum Apostolorum or Symbolum Apostolicum), sometimes titled Symbol of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, a creed or "symbol".[1] It is widely used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical Churches of Western tradition, including the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, Lutheranism, the Anglican Communion, and Western Orthodoxy. It is also used by Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists and many Baptists.

The theological specifics of this creed appear to have been originally formulated as a refutation of Gnosticism, an early heresy. This can be seen in almost every phrase. For example, the creed states that Christ, Jesus, was born, suffered, and died on the cross. This seems to be a statement directly against the heretical teaching that Christ only appeared to become man and that he did not truly suffer and die but only appeared to do so. The Apostles' Creed, as well as other baptismal creeds, is esteemed as an example of the apostles' teachings and a defense of the Gospel of Christ.

The name of the Creed comes from the probably fifth-century legend that, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit after Pentecost, each of the Twelve Apostles dictated part of it.[2] It is still traditionally divided into twelve articles.

Because of its early origin, it does not address some Christological issues defined in the later Nicene and other Christian Creeds. This makes it acceptable to many Arians and Unitarians. It also does not address some current issues within Evangelical denominations such as the literal meaning of Genesis chapters 1 to 11, Replacement Theology, and approaches to Bible interpretation.

Contents

[hide]

[edit] Origin of the Creed

Many hypotheses exist concerning the date and nature of the origin of the Apostles' Creed. It was apparently developed from what scholars have identified as "the Old Roman Symbol" of the 1st or 2nd century and influenced later by the Nicene Creed (325/381) [4]. Some historians place its origin of the Apostles' Creed as late as 5th century Gaul. The earliest known concrete historical evidence of the creed's existence as it is currently titled (Symbolum Apostolicum) is a letter of the Council of Milan. (390) to Pope Siricius (here in English):

"If you credit not the teachings of the priests . . . let credit at least be given to the Symbol of the Apostles which the Roman Church always preserves and maintains inviolate."

The earliest appearance of the present Latin text was in the De singulis libris canonicis scarapsus ("Excerpt from Individual Canonical Books") of St. Priminius (Migne, Patrologia Latina 89, 1029 ff.), written between 710-724 (J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds, Longmans, Green & Co, 1972, pp. 398-434).

For more information on the origin of the Apostles' Creed, see the detailed discussion in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

[edit] Text of the Creed

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium Eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad ínferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam. Amen.

[edit] English translations

[edit] The Roman Catholic Church

The English version in the Catechism of the Catholic Church[5] maintains the traditional division of the Creed into twelve articles, presenting it as follows:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
born of the Virgin Mary.
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father Almighty.
From thence he shall come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.

[edit] The Church of England

In the Church of England there are currently two authorized forms of the creed: that of the Book of Common Prayer (1662) and that of Common Worship (2000).[3]

Book of Common Prayer

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried,
He descended into heaven
The third day he rose again from the dead,
He ascended into heaven,
And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
The holy Catholick Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting. Amen.

Common Worship

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.

[edit] The Lutheran Church

The text of the Apostles' Creed used by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, a major Lutheran religious denomination:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian[4] Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.[5]

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States, uses the ELLC ecumenical version[6], with an annotation that "he descended into hell" instead of "he descended to the dead" is an optional reading. The ELLC version is also used in the Evangelical Lutheran Worship, which is commended for use by both the ELCA[7] and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.[8]

[edit] The United Methodist Church

The United Methodists commonly incorporate the Apostles' Creed into their worship services. The version which is most often used is located at #881 in the United Methodist Hymnal, one of their most popular hymnals and one with a heritage to John Wesley, founder of Methodism [6][7]. It is notable for omitting the line "he descended into hell", but is otherwise very similar to the Book of Common Prayer version. The 1989 Hymnal has both the traditional version and the 1988 ecumenical version (see below), which includes "he descended to the dead."

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

The United Methodist Hymnal also contains (at #882) what it terms the "Ecumenical Version" of this creed -- a version which is identical to that found in the Episcopal Church's current Book of Common Prayer. This form of the Apostles' Creed can be found incorporated into the Eucharistic and Baptismal Liturgies in the Hymnal and in The United Methodist Book of Worship, and hence it is growing in popularity and use.

[edit] Ecumenical version of the English Language Liturgical Consultation

The English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC) is an international ecumenical group whose primary purpose is to provide ecumenically accepted texts for those who use English in their liturgy. In 1988 it produced a translation of the Apostles' Creed, distinguished among other things by its avoidance of the word "his" in relation to God. The text is as follows:[8]

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

[edit] Liturgical use in Western Christianity

The liturgical communities in western Christianity that derive their rituals from the Roman Missal, including those particular communities which use the Roman Missal itself (Roman Catholics), the Book of Common Prayer (Anglicans / Episcopalians), the Lutheran Book of Worship (ELCA Lutherans), Lutheran Worship (Missouri-Synod Lutherans), use the Apostles' Creed and interrogative forms of it in their rites of Baptism, which they consider to be the first sacrament of initiation into the Church.

[edit] Roman Catholic Rite of Baptism

An interrogative form of the Apostles' Creed is used in the Rite of Baptism (for both children and adults). The minister of baptism asks the following questions (ICEL, 1974):

Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?

To each question, the catechumen, or, in the case of an infant, the parents and sponsor(s) (godparent(s)) in his or her place, answers "I do." Then the celebrant says:

This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And all respond: Amen.

[edit] Roman Catholic Profession of Faith at Mass

The Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed is given first place in the text of the Roman Missal; but "the baptismal symbol of the Church of Rome, called the Apostles' Creed" may be used in its place, "especially in Lent and Eastertide" (Ordinary of the Mass, 19). The latter Creed is generally preferred also at Masses for children.

[edit] Church of England

The Apostles' Creed is used in the non-Eucharistic services of Mattins and Evening Prayer (Evensong). It is invoked after the recitation or singing of the Canticles, and it is the only part of the services in which the congregation is required to turn and face the High Altar, if they are seated transversely in the quire.

[edit] Episcopal Church (USA)

The Episcopal Church uses the Apostles' Creed as a Baptismal Covenant for those who are to receive the Rite of Baptism. Regardless of age, candidates are to be sponsored by parents and/or godparents. Youths able to understand the significance of the Rite may go through the ritual speaking for themselves. Younger children and infants rely on their sponsors to act upon their behalf.

1. The celebrant calls for the candidates for Baptism to be presented.

2. The catechumen or sponsors state their request for Baptism.

3a. If the catechumen is of age, the celebrant will ask him or her if he or she desires Baptism, which the catechumen will state he or she says "I do."

3b. If the candidate relies on sponsors, the celebrant asks them if they will raise the child in "the Christian faith and life" (ECUSA BCP), and will raise the child through "prayers and witness to grow into the full stature of Christ" to which the parents will state to each, "I will, with God's help."

4. A series of questions are then asked, to which the reply is always "I renounce them":

Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God?
Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?
Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God?

5. The second half of the query is asked, to which the reply is always "I do":

Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Savior?
Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love?
Do you promise to follow and obey him as your Lord?

6. The Apostle's Creed is then recited, in which is divided into three parts; the celebrant asks whether they believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to which the Creed is stated in its three divisions in respect to the Three Persons of the Trinity.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Not in the sense that the word "symbol" has in modern English, but in the original meaning of the word, derived from "Latin symbolum, sign, token, from Greek σύμβολον, token for identification (by comparing with its counterpart), from συμβάλλειν, to throw together, compare" (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).
  2. ^ James Orr: The Apostles' Creed, in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
  3. ^ Creeds and Authorized Affirmations of Faith
  4. ^ Since the 15th century German Lutherans have used "Christian" ("christlich" in German) in place of "catholic" ("catholica" in Latin) when confessing the Apostles' Creed. Cf. Theodore G. Tappert, ed. and trans. The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1959), 18, footnote 2; Cf. Der Große Katechismus of Martin Luther, and Deutsche Fassung, nach Luther.
  5. ^ Lutheran Service Book, (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006), 159, 175, 192, 207; Lutheran Worship, (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1982), 142, 167, 186; The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has a slightly different text posted on their website[1], and the version used by the German Lutheran Trinity Church Melbourne is also slightly different.
  6. ^ The Apostles Creed from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Web site
  7. ^ [2]http://www.elca.org/worship/ELW/index.html
  8. ^ [3]http://www.worship.ca

[edit] External links