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Saturday, July 26, 2008

My rejoinder to Jason Engwer of Triablogue "round 2"

This is my rejoinder to Jason Engwer of Triablogue

Jason said:
"If there's an eighth day, then the seventh
probably does have a limit on it."

The Epistle doesn't put a limit on it. So if you are going to put a limit on something that doesn't have a limit then you mind as well put a limit on the eigth day as well.

When one looks at the book of Genesis, one will see that every day except for the seventh has a morning and an evening.

Day one "And there was evening, and there was morning" (as seen from Gen 1:5)

Day two "And there was evening, and there was morning" (as seen from Gen 1: 8)

Day three "And there was evening, and there was morning" (as seen from Gen 1: 13)

Day four "And there was evening, and there was morning" (as seen from Gen 1: 19)

Day five "And there was evening, and there was morning" (as seen from Gen 1: 23)

Day six "And there was evening, and there was morning" (as seen from Gen 1: 31)

The evening and morning are missing on day seven. We can also see God's rest in Hebrews chapter 4. To put a time limit on God's rest is to say that our resting in Him is not eternal.
The Epistle of Barnabas doesn't put a time limit on it, and I don't think we should either.

Jason said:
"If any day would be most different from the others, we
would expect it to be the eighth, the last day. Six thousand years, followed by
a millennial kingdom, followed by an eternal eighth day would make sense in a
premillennial framework, and we know that referring to the millennial kingdom as
a seventh day was popular among the ante-Nicene fathers."

But in the Epislte of Barnabas, a "time limit" is missing for both days. Some later ante-Nicene christians, who were "premillers" did put a limit on that day, but Barnabas didn't. Yes, I agree with you that it does make sense in a premillennial framework, but I don't think you can use Barnabas like you can the others. For unlike the others, Barnabas didn't do that.

Jason said:
"See the other passages I've cited from the ante-Nicene
fathers above."

They came later in time:

Justin Martyr lived from 100 A.D. to about 165 A.D. (from the east to Rome)

Irenaeus lived from 130 A.D. to about 200 A.D. (from Ashia minor to France)

Tertullian lived from 160 A.D. to about 230 A.D. (Carthage)

Hippolytus lived from 170 A.D. to about 236 A.D. (Rome)

Cyprian about 258 A.D. (Carthage)

Commodianus about 250 A.D. I don't know where he is from, but according to Newadvent he imated " Tertullian, Lactantius, and Papias." The site also makes note that in one of his works he seems to of read of St. Cyprian's "Testimonia".

Victorinus 304 A.D. (lived in Syria)

Lactantius 250 A.D. to about 325 A.D. (maybe Gaul, which is modern day France....I could be wrong about that)

My theory is that it went from the East to Rome (Through Justin Martyre) and Gaul(France) through Irenaeus, and from there to North Africa (Carthage)

Both Saints Justin Martrye and Irenaeus preceed most of the people on your list.
Some think that Saint Hippolytus was a disciple of Saint Irenaeus. Now this may or may not be true, but there seems to be some influence there.

Now I could be wrong in all of this, but It seems like a decent guess. Especially when you look at the dates and places of where the premillers lived.

Jason said:
"I agree that there's some room for reasonable doubt about
the premillennialism of Pseudo-Barnabas, but the weight of probability still
favors it."

I disagree about the wieght of probability, especially when one wiegh in the Alexandrian hermeneutical method. Let's say for the sake of argument that the Epistle of Barnabas did come from Alexandria, which is what the majority view is. Their hermeneutical method was different than that of Modern day Turkey.

Jason said:
"It's doubtful that he was using such a common premillennial
manner of describing world history, at a time when premillennialism was so
popular, yet meant it in a non-premillennial sense."

How do you know it was so popular?

You are making a claim that the premill view was widespread by 130 A.D. I doubt that. Maybe around 200 A.D. but I doubt it was that popular around 130 A.D. The Revelation didn't exist from 33 A.D. to about 70 Something A.D. Only Saint John knew of it's existence from 70 something A.D. to about 90 something A.D. And when Saint John was freed, it had to spread to most of the churches in as well as outside of the empire.

I highly doubt that in 40 years time it was least in the way you make it seem. Alot of churches didn't even have the book, so how would they know about a 1,000 year earthly reign?

Jason said:
"The fact that we don't have much to go by doesn't change
the fact that what we have favors a location outside of Asia Minor. Even if we
left the matter undecided, the presence of premillennialism in such an early
source that can't be tied to Asia Minor should caution us against associating
the doctrine with that region to the degree that you've done so."

But "premill" is weak to nonexistent in the Epistle of Barnabas. And Saint John didn't really travel that much in order for the book to have multiple origins. According to Saint Irenaeus, Saint John pretty much stayed put in Ephesus.

"The Church in Ephesus was founded by Paul, and John remained among them permanently until the time of Trajon. It is a true witness of the tradition of the apostles." [1] page 381

I really don't think the Epistle of Barnabas supports the pre-mill view. There are more modals of eschatology than just the modern western ones that you may know of.

Jason said:
"The fact that they traveled West doesn't prove that they
had the influence you claim they had in spreading premillennialism when they
traveled. The fact that both were in Asia Minor for part of their life before
traveling West doesn't prove that they derived their premillennialism from Asia
Minor. How do you know that Justin didn't attain his premillennialism in Israel,
prior to going to Ephesus (if he went there, as Eusebius reports)?"

If we take the Epistle of Barnabas out of the picture, then I think I can make that claim with them. The book of Revelation had to spread from the east to the west.I don't see anything wrong with the book traveling to different regions through people migrating from one place to the next. If one looks at both the times and place of those that supported "pre-mill" in their writings then one can see land marks of how it spread from the east to the west to North western Africa. But you do have a point, that it doesn't prove that Justin Martyre got it from Asia minor, but that's where the view came from. And we do know that he tought it, and went west.

Jason said:
""The fact that a source is later in time than Justin and
Irenaeus doesn't prove that he attained his premillennialism by means of the
influence of Justin and Irenaeus. And you aren't addressing what I said about
the unlikelihood that people in other regions would keep accepting
premillennialism when they already had an established contrary eschatology from
another apostolic source or multiple apostolic sources."

It doesn't "infallibly" mean that, but if these people later in time were familier with the works of Irenaeus & Justin then I don't see a problem with assuming that. Who knows, maybe Justin & Irenaeus brought the book of Revelations with them, while going west. They also could of brought some of the works of Papias with them as well.

I could be wrong about what I am about to say, but I think it was said that "Hippolytus" knew greek or wrote in greek. If this is true then he was able to read works that came from the east. I might be wrong again, but the same might be true for Tertullian. I know he knew old Latin, but he could of translated some manuscripts from greek to old latin.

We know that some people did reject it. Dionysius said "Some" people before his time.

"Some persons before our time have set this book aside and entirely rejected it. They have criticized it chapter by chapter, trying to demonstrate that it is without either sense or reason. They have also alleged that its title is false. For they have that John is the author.....they claim that non of the Apostles, nor indeed any of the Saints, nor any person belonging to the church, could be its author. Rather, they say that Cerinthus and the heretical sect founded by him.....attached that title to the book....However, I, for my part, could not venture to set this book aside. For there are many brethern who value it highly." Dionysius of Alexandria 262 A.D. [2] page 565

Jason said:
"We're not discussing appropriateness. We're discussing history. There's nothing inappropriate about the spreading of a belief from one region to another. But you've made historical claims about how a belief allegedly spread. You can't defend a historical claim by making an appeal to the acceptability of such a historical event in principle. It would be acceptable for me to have been born in California. But if I claim that I was born there, that's a historical claim that requires historical argumentation. To respond to somebody who challenges that historical claim by asking him whether there's anything wrong with being born in California wouldn't make sense."

Saint Irenaeus was a Native of Ashia Minor. But you do have a point about Saint Justin Martyr

Jason said:
"If premillennialism doesn't require "giving up much", then
why would it be considered a heresy? If it requires "giving up" something, even
if it's not much, you should explain why people who already had an apostolic
eschatology would keep giving that eschatology up in favor of another
eschatology with less apostolic support."

Not giving up much, as in "not being hard to change".

I use to believe in Premill and I switched/changed when I became Orthodox. It wasn't that hard for me. Unlike some forms of western amill or post mill. The christian East still believes in a future anti-christ. And maybe even a future tribulation.

I gave up premill because the Eastern view still believed in a future Anti-christ, a future resurrection of the dead, and a future second coming.

Some people in the west think the second coming already happened in 70 A.D. Yeah, it would be hard to change if you had to believe that. It would be hard to change if you couldn't believe in a future anti-christ.

But I doubt that was the case back then. They didn't have full-preterists back then, they didn't have partial prets that didn't believe in a future anti-christ back then. So I don't think they had to worry about some of the things western eschatology worries about.

The differences wasn't as major then, as it is now. In our day in time.

I use to defend pre-mill, and it wasn't that hard for me to change.

Now I don't know if you are a pre-miller, but if you are then I will say, "if it wasn't hard for me to change, then it shouldn't be hard for you either"

Jason said:
"And you haven't just been arguing that premillennialism had
"extra info" that another apostolic eschatology didn't have. Rather, you
referred to the alleged erroneous nature of premillennialism that people
objected to. You wrote:"

"This is one of the reasons why ancient PM was disliked by
most christians in other regions. They saw it as too carnal.....just like how
Islam is carnal in how it views heaven...Thus the Millenium was
'spiritualized/Allegoricalized' Along with it's carnal understanding of 'super
foods'." (

People did object to it.

Caius said:
"Cerinthus [aheretic], through written revelations by a "great apostle" (as he would have us believe), brings before us marvelous things-which he pretends were shown to him by angels. He alleges that after the resurrection, the Kingdom of Christ is to be on earth and that the flesh dwelling in Jerusalem will again be subject to desire and pleasure." Eusebius, quoting Caius 215 A.D. [3] page 451

When Origen met people who believed it, he said:

"Certain persons,. . .adopting a superficial view of the letter of the Law,. . . are of the opinion that the fulfillment of the promises of the future are to tbe looked for in bodily pleasure and Luxury. Therefore, they especially desire after the resurrection to have the power of eating, drinking, and performing all the functions of flesh and blood. . .Consequently, they say that after the begetting of children. They image to themselves that the earthly city of Jerusalem is to be rebuilt, its foundations being laid in precious stones. . . Moreover, they think that the natives of other countries are to be given them as the servants of their pleasure. . . They think that they are to receive the wealth of the nations to live on. These views they think to establish on the authority of the prophets, by those promises that are written regarding Jerusalem. . . And from the New Testament, too, they quote the saying of the Savior. . ."Henceforth, I will not drink of this cup, until I drink it with you new in My Father's Kingdom.". . .[The millennialists] desire the fulfillment of all things looked for in the promises, all according to the manner of things in this life and in all similar matters. . . However, those who receive the interpretations of Scripture according to the understanding of the apostles, entertain the hope that the saints will indeed eat- but that it will be the bread of life that can nourish the soul with food of truth and wisdom. Origen (225 A.D.)" [4] page 451

Also in note 41 in regards to the second council. It says:
the online source

"There have been two battalions of millenarians. For some of them used to say that during those thousand years they are to enjoy every enjoyment, and bodily pleasure; these men were followers of Cerinthus, a pupil of Simon, in the first century, and the Marcionists in the second century of the Christian era. Others said that they were not to enjoy passionate pleasures, but rather intellectual pleasures befitting rational human beings, of whom the leader was Papias the bishop of Hierapolis (in Euseb. Eccl. Hist, book 3, ch. 34) and others. Hence it is evident that Apollinaris became such a millenarian of the first battalion, as is plain from what St. Basil the Great says (letter 332), and from what the Theologian says (Discourse 51), and from what Jerome says (Book 18 on Isaiah). On this account in refutation of this heresy this Council added to the Creed of the Nicene Council that statement, which it borrowed from the sentence which the Archangel Gabriel spoke to the Virgin, viz.: “and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:33)."

Jason said:
"We were discussing the status of early premillennialism,
not whether anybody was non-premillennial early on. I haven't denied that some
ante-Nicene sources rejected premillennialism."

You challenged my two tradition theory(eventhough, I'm not pointing the finger at Saint John). So I quoted 1st Clement which is dated around 90 something A.D. ....which is about the sametime Saint John was freed from the Island. It seems that 1st Clement supported an amill view. And he lived in Rome. It took time for the pre-mill view to reach Rome, and North Western Africa. So in showing 1st Clement I am also showing the time frame of when it could of been "popular". You want to believe most christians believed in pre-mill around 130 A.D. I am trying to show that most christians were not pre-mill, and that it probably became popularized around 200 A.D. and even then, people fought against it. So it had an up hill battle the whole time.

Christians didn't have it at all from 33 A.D. to about 70 something A.d., only Saint John had it from 70 A.D. to about 90 something A.D., and from that point on, it had to gain acceptance.

So most christians were not "pre-millers starting out". In order for one to be a pre-miller, they had to have the book first. And once they had the book, they had to interpret chapter 20 in a certain way.

Jason said:
"But Clement of Rome's belief that "Christ reigns right now
over His enemies" doesn't contradict premillennialism. It's not as though
premillennialists believe that Christ has no rulership before or after the
millennium. The issue is the nature of the rulership at different times in

In your form of pre-mill, but you are trying to use the ancients to defend your form of pre-mill.

Jason said:
"That's note 41 of a later commentator, not canon 41 of the
council. Premillennialism continued among some mainstream Christians after First
Constantinople. Augustine, for example, was a premillennialist in his early days
as a Christian. For other examples, see Brian Daley's discussion in Everett
Ferguson, ed., Encyclopedia Of Early Christianity (New York: Garland Publishing,
Inc., 1999), p. 240. The note 41 you've cited claims that a portion of the
council's creed alluding to Luke 1:33 is meant to condemn a particular form of
premillennialism that was different from the form accepted by more orthodox
sources like Papias. Would you explain how you get from those comments in note
41 to the conclusion that this council condemned premillennialism in

Tru, that is note 41, not canon 41. But he gives the intended interpretation of what was condemned and why it was condemned. And in regards to Augustine, it really doesn't matter. It took a while for the second council to be embraced as "ecumenical". It was embraced as "ecumenical" by the council of Chalcedon.
As noted by the Roman Catholic scholar Leo Donald Davis:

"Moreover, until the council of Chalcedon in 451, the council was not regarded as ecumenical and, therefore, not of the stature of Nicea." [5] page 121

If Donald Davis is right, then it took about an extra 70 years for it to be seen as "ecumenical".

But note 41 does condemn "premillennialism". You are correct in that it explicitly condemned a certain kind of pre-millennialism. However, it also gives an interpretation on how chapter 20 should be interpreted.

"As for the thousand years referred to by St. John, they are not to come to pass after the second advent of Christ; and the kingdom of the Lord is not describable in terms of years, nor food and drink, as St. Paul said (Rom. 14:17): but, on the contrary, a thousand years are to be understood, according to those versed in theology, to mean the interval of time extending from the first advent of Christ to the second, during which Satan was bound, according to the words of the Lord, saying, “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the ruler of this world be cast out” (John 12:31)."

So this leaves little room for "premill", especially when an interpretation of the chapter in question is givin. But I do see your point.

Jason said
[in regards to me posting my sources] "And you often

I do, as seen here and here. Not to mention the sources I post in forums, and other peoples blogs.

Jason said:
"That's not all you said. You also referred to one apostolic
eschatology "trumping" another, proponents of the different eschatologies
"arguing" and "bumping heads", etc. You compared the alleged differences between
John and the other apostolic sources to the differences between the apostles and
"the Circumcision group" in Acts 15, where contradiction was involved. In this
thread, you've referred to how those going from one apostolic eschatology to
another would have to give something up, though supposedly not "much"."

What do you know of the "Quartodeciman controversy"?
For that is my template for the two tradition theory in regards to pre-mill vs nonpremill. Even you admitted that their were non premill ante-nicene fathers.

Now I know that the Quartodeciman controversy is a different topic than pre-mill so everything isn't going to be the same. There will be some differences, because they each have there own contexts. But that is where my diverce tradition theory of different regions comes from. However, when pressed on the issue. I saw that the argument for it, in regards to pre-mill wasn't as strong. Plus in regards to the Quartodeciman controversy. It was a difference in custom. And the New Testament allowed for a difference in certain customs. So yes, I may of been wrong to borrow that idea, and bring it into the pre-mill situation. I saw that primative christian eschatology wasn't a monolith. It is my theory, and yes, it has some weaknesses, but it also has some strengths. In the future, I will modify/revise my argument.

Jason said:
"How does your citation of that group justify your claim
that Revelation was rejected by most Christians? Does that group qualify as most
Christians of the timeframe we're discussing? No."

When you include both the christians outside of the Empire as well as those inside the Empire that either didn't have the book of Revelations or just didn't embrace it, in their compilation of books. Then you will have a pretty sizable number. But yes, it is true that everyone in the east didn't use it. Or just didn't have it.

As seen here:

"Those who were eventually called Nestorians, were not the only ones who used the Syriac Biblical scrolls and parchments. MY Jurisdiction used them as well. So we too lacked those very same books for a while.

"According to Burkitt, the earliest Syriac version of the New Testament is represented by the textual tradition known as Old Syriac, produced during the first two centuries of the Christian era. The Old Syriac is mainly represented today by the Syro-Curetonian Manuscript, produced in either the third or fourth century, and the Syro-Sinaiticus palimpsest, produced around 200 A.D."
[6] page 70


"From the beginning of the fifth century on, we can say the Old Syriac tradition reigns supreme in the Syriac Church. Its use is standard in both Church documents and translations of Grekk texts. The works of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory of Nyssa, for instance, were translated in the fifth and sixth centuries using Old Syriac Scripture citations."[7]

I could be wrong, but I think Saint John Chrysostem also used the Old Syriac

Syriac New Testament

""Of the New Testament, attempts at translation must have been made very early, and among the ancient versions of New Testament Scripture the Syriac in all likelihood is the earliest. It was at Antioch, the capital of Syria, that the disciples of Christ were first called Christians, and it seemed natural that the first translation of the Christian Scriptures should have been made there. The tendency of recent research, however, goes to show that Edessa, the literary capital, was more likely the place.

If we could accept the somewhat obscure statement of Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, IV, xxii) that Hegesippus "made some quotations from the Gospel according to the Hebrews and from the Syriac Gospel," we should have a reference to a Syriac New Testament as early as 160-80 AD, the time of that Hebrew Christian writer. One thing is certain, that the earliest New Testament of the Syriac church lacked not only the Antilegomena--2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation--but the whole of the Catholic Epistles and the Apocalypse. These were at a later date translated and received into the Syriac Canon of the New Testament, but the quotations of the early Syrian Fathers take no notice of these New Testament books.

From the 5th century, however, the Peshitta containing both Old Testament and New Testament has been used in its present form only as the national version of the Syriac Scriptures. The translation of the New Testament is careful, faithful and literal, and the simplicity, directness and transparency of the style are admired by all Syriac scholars and have earned for it the title of "Queen of the versions.""


""The New Testament:
The Easter churches accept the traditional list of New Testament books. In the fourth century there were doubts in Asia Minor concerning the authenticity of the Aposalypse od St John the Divine. Gregory of Nazianzus, in one of his poems, lists the four Gospels, Acts, fourteen Pauline Epistles ans seven Catholic Epistles. He continues, 'You have them all. Any outside of these is not authentic.' His contemporary Amphilochios of Iconium, a friend of Basil the Great, writes in another poem, 'Again, some count John's Apocalypse, but the majority say it is spurious.' Cyril of Jerusalem and Cosmas of Maiuma both exclude the Apocalypse, though John of Damascus accepts it. The early Syriac-speaking churches did not accept the four minor Catholic Epistle and the Apocalypse, which did not, therefore, form part of th ePeshitta, but these were included in the sixth-century version commissioned by one of the leading opponents of Chalcedon, Philoxenus of Mabbug(see also Bible,Syriac.)


"Liturgical Use:
"The Byzantine Lectionary In the present Byzantine rite there are only two readings at the eucharist, both taken from the New Testament, which, except for the Apocalpse, is read throughout the year in a modified lectio cintinua............ect"

Jason said:
"In other words, you can't demonstrate that your earlier
claims about Justin and Irenaeus are probable. All you can do is suggest
possible scenarios in which the claim would be true."

I think they are probable. with the evidence we have, it is easier to believe that most christians were not pre-mill and that it took awhile for pre-mill to become popular. I don't see anything wrong with this, especially when one looks at the times, dates, and citations of the pre-millers you quoted.

Jason said:
"He also lived in other places and had access to documents
and individuals from other locations, so he could have been influenced by
sources outside of Asia Minor or by some combination of the two."

If he was a disciple of Polycarp then it is most likely that he got it from the East. When looking at the evidence we have. It is alot easier to believe he got it from that region. Since, that is where Saint John stayed. So the book was first known there. The two main places that we know of is Asia minor and Gaul. You will have to cite the other places Saint Irenaeus lived.

Jason said:
"Gene has already explained how your earlier claims implied
an error on the part of the apostle John."

Only by putting words in my mouth. He implied it from what I said in regards to the doctrine of the Trinity. But these are two different topics.

Jason said:
"If the Asia Minor tradition doesn't represent what the
apostle John taught, then why are you referring to it as an apostolic

The finger is pointed at Saint Papias, and according to Saint Irenaeus, he got it from "unwritten tradition". Saint John lived and died in that region, and that's why, I was very careful to say it, in the way I did.

Jason said:
"Why did you use such a comparison if you didn't mean to
suggest that the apostles disagreed with each other? And why did you also cite
the disagreement in Acts 15 between the apostles and those arguing for

In regards to the Quartodeciman controversy I did say that, because of what happened between Bishop Polycarp & Bishop Anicetus.

"When the blessed Polycarp was visiting in Rome in the time of Anicetus,. . .they were at once well inclined towards each other, not willing that any quarrel should arise between them upon this matter [the observance ofEaster]. For Anicetus could not persuade Polycarp to forego the observance [of his Easter customs] inasmuch as these things had been always observed by John the disciple of our Lord, and by other apostle with whom he had been conversant. Nor, on the other hand, could Polycarp succeed in peruading Anicetus maintained that he was bound to adhere to the usage of the presbyters who preceed him. And in this state of affairs they held fellowship with each other. Irenaeus 180 A.D. [10] page 500

The controversy was my template for what I was saying in regards to pre-mill. For Saint Irenaeus seemed to have pointed the finger at "Apostolic tradition".

"Irenaeus, with his reverence for "apostolic tradition," described in glowing terms the transformation of the cosmos and the animals during the millennium; as his authority he cited Papias, who was a man of hoary antiquity, had heard the apostle John (writer of the book of revelation), and had been associated with Polycarp." [11] page 124 J. Pelikan

But Pelikan also admits:

"But there is striking evidence not only that the millenarian hope continued in the church after the apostolic age, but also that, probably from the beginning, it stood in tension with other descriptions of the reign of Christ, which were not as privy to the details of the timetable for this reign." [12] page 125 J. Pelikan

In regards to premill, I didn't want to point the finger at Saint John. Instead, I pointed it at Saint Papias.

So in regards to premill, I would like to say that the Apostolic traditions of the regions where the Apostles died at, seemed to be in tention, in regards to some of the finer details of "eschatology".

And in regards to the council of Acts? Yes, the Apostles, elders, and Holy Spirit gathered together to resolve a dispute. And it took another council (381 A.D.), to solve the dispute in regards to some of the finer points of eschatology. Those at the council represented the "Apostolic Tradition" of their regions. And just like in the first council, both the Bishops and the Holy Spirit agreed.

Jason said:
"Why would you relate premillennialism to John's having
lived and died in that region if John didn't teach premillennialism?"

That was his territory, and one person of his flock tought it, and claimed that he got it from "unwritten tradition". but this doesn't necessarily mean that Saint John tought it himself. especially when the finger is always pointed at Saint Papias.

Jason said:
"If there's no apostolic disagreement, then why does one
apostle or group of apostles "trump" another?"

It happened in regards to the custom of the "quartodeciman controversy", and in regards to the premill issue. It happened again, in regards to the "unwritten tradition" that Saint Papias embraced vs those that didn't have a premill view.

Jason said:
"If your eschatology is "equally ancient" in comparison to
premillennialism, then the implication is that both go back to the

That's why I quoted 1st Clement. However, in regards to premill, I didn't want to point the finger at Saint John himself. Eventhough the view was tought by one of his flock.

Jason said:
"I don't think the problem is that we're being unreasonable
in how we interpret your comments. Rather, you seem to keep changing your
arguments or communicating poorly or both."

What I said in regards to the topic of the doctrine of the Trinity, should stay with that topic. What I said in regards to "premill" shouldn't be interchanged with another conversation.

Jason said:
"I've explained that I was citing ante-Nicene sources.
Eusebius of Caesarea isn't usually classified as such. And, again, I haven't
denied that there were people who opposed premillennialism, especially as more
time passed."

They lived within the same era. That's why I quoted him.
Lactantius lived from 250 A.D. to 325 A.D.
Victorinus about 304 A.D.

The non-premiller Eusebius lived from 270 A.D. to about 340 A.D. This is why I thought it was fair to use him.

And remember, your view is that "most pre-nicen christians" believed in pre-mill.

""Eusebius was certainly speaking for a large body of theological opinion in the East when he called Papias's millenarianism "bizarre" and rather mythological." [13] page 129

Around the sametime Lactantius and Victorinus lived. The Majority view in the east was non premill.

Jason said:
"I know. I cited the passage where he comments on the
subject. But we have no reason to conclude that those people were a

Why not? Your time frame for a pre-mill majority is pretty small. I will agree that it probably became popular around 200 A.D., but popularity and majority are two different things.

You had Caius from Rome, that argued against the view, and he lived around 215 A.D.

You had Origen and Dionysius from Alexandria who both fought against the view.
Origen lived from 185 A.D. to about 255 A.D.
And Dionysius was ordained a Bishop around the 247 A.D. and he mentioned that there were people before his time, that rejected the book.

The window for a premill majority is small.

Jason said:
"I've acknowledged that some people rejected the canonicity
of Revelation. I'm not asking you for documentation of that fact. Rather, I'm
asking for documentation of your assertion that a majority rejected Revelation's
canonicity. You still haven't provided such documentation."

When you combine those in and outside of the empire who didn't have the book. With those that either fought against the book or with it's interpretation of chapter 20, along with the fact that readings from it wasn't in the Divine liturgy of Eastern christian churches. I can't speak for western church, but the same could be true for Rome as well. But when you include all of this then I think one can say that the Majority didn't embrace it, in the same mannor they did most of the other books.

Jason said:
"I know, but that's irrelevant to the issue at hand. He
accepted the canonicity of the book."

No, I don't think you can say that. "canonicity" doesn't = inspired when you look at how the ancients understood the word "Canonicity". You can believe a book to be inspired without having it in your canon. And this is what you had back then.

Jason said:
"I've noticed that you seem to have modified one of the articles at your web site that I linked to. One of the articles now reads:"

Yes, I did modify it.

Jason said:
"That seems to be a revision of what you said earlier, when you were arguing that it was a sixth-century council that condemned premillennialism. Have you also revised other portions of your articles? Are you going to keep revising them?"

Yes, I was wrong about it being in the sixth century, as seen here. So I revised it. And no I don't recall revising other portions of the article. Any future modifications of my theory, will be seen in future posts.

Jason said:
"But you don't explain why. I explained why I view the
document as I do. Why don't you interact with what I wrote on the

I just did.

Jason said:
"How so?

You need him to prove your multiple origin theory, as well as your 130 A.D. date in regards to premill being the majority view in the pre-nicene era.

Jason said:
"I didn't say that premillennialism was widespread by that
time. But, since you've brought the issue up, yes, I do believe it was
widespread by that time. Later sources who advocate premillennialism cite
earlier sources who did the same, and some of those earlier sources date to
around the time of The Epistle Of Barnabas. Justin Martyr's Dialogue With Trypho
wasn't written until a little past the middle of the second century, but the
debate he recounts in that document occurred around the year 135. In that
debate, Justin refers to premillennialism as if it's a widely held belief
(Dialogue With Trypho, 80). Trypho's knowledge of premillennialism and Justin's
references to disputes on the subject among professing Christians suggest that
the doctrine was known and discussed for a long time prior to Justin's debate
with Trypho. Similarly, Irenaeus refers to disciples of the apostle John who
advocated the doctrine (Against Heresies, 5:33:3-4)."

I don't think you can prove it with all the evidence I've shown that would say otherwise.

Jason said:
"But you haven't given us any good reason to "take the
Epistle of Barnabas out of the picture". And Justin Martyr tells us that the
doctrine was already widely known and discussed, both by Christians and
non-Christians, around the year 135. I cited The Epistle Of Barnabas as an
example of early premillennialism outside of Asia Minor, but it's not the only

You are going to have to quote Justin saying that the view was "widely known and discussed among christians and nonchristians".

Jason said:
"But you haven't given us any good reason to "take the
Epistle of Barnabas out of the picture". And Justin Martyr tells us that the
doctrine was already widely known and discussed, both by Christians and
non-Christians, around the year 135. I cited The Epistle Of Barnabas as an
example of early premillennialism outside of Asia Minor, but it's not the only

I gave good reasons. the Epislte of Barnabas doesn't really prove "premillennialism".

Jason said:
"There's no evidence that would lead us to your "decent
guess". It's an unverifiable speculation that you've come up with as a result of
a desire to lessen the significance of the widespread acceptance of
premillennialism. And you still aren't explaining why so many people who
allegedly had a contrary eschatology from other apostles and a larger number of
apostles would give up their eschatology in order to adopt premillennialism.
What does such a scenario, in which Christian leaders in so many locations keep
abandoning their apostolic eschatology in favor of a false eschatology, suggest
about the degree of credibility you've been assigning to the Christians of the
patristic era?"

I disagree, the unverifiable speculation is assuming that the book as well as the interpretation of chapter 20 came from muliple origins. You probably assume that all the Apostle tought it. This is probably why you think it was a majority view, and had multiple origins.
This is something you can't prove. And the evidence that we have, would say otherwise.

Jason said:
"Regarding the Quartodeciman controversy, I suspect that
there were differing apostolic traditions on that issue, partly because of what
I mentioned in the other thread. The apostles considered such holiday
observances a matter of freedom (Romans 14:5-6). The differing traditions are
early and credible, and I see no reason to deny that different sources received
different traditions from the apostolic church."

So we agree on something. Good.

Jason said:
"But premillennialism is a doctrinal matter. The apostolic
documents and the early post-apostolic sources suggest that the apostles were
united in their doctrine."

So you think that all the Apostles tought premill? This is something you can't prove.
Now I'm starting to understand why you are saying what you are saying.

Jason said:
"You referred to one eschatological tradition coming from
John and another coming from men like Paul and Peter."

One coming from Saint John's region. And another coming from men like Saint Paul and Saint Peter.

Jason said:
"If Revelation was written in the last decade of the first
century, as I believe, then John wrote around 30 years after Paul and Peter had
died. He surely knew what their eschatology was, and what they had taught would
have been widespread by the time John wrote. "

Saint John was locked up for about 10 to 20 years. Saint John was the one who was givin that Revelation. You must assume that Jesus gave the same Revelation to every Apostle. Meaning that every Apostle was givin the revelation about the 7 churches and they told their flock about the seven church.

This is something you will have to prove.

Jason said:
"If he had been proposing an eschatology contrary to theirs,
I would expect to see many and explicit traces of that conflict in the
historical record. Instead, the mainstream approach toward eschatology was to
treat all of the apostolic sources as harmonious. And the disciples of John
speak highly of the other leaders of the apostolic church, such as Paul and

The problem isn't what Saint John wrote. The problem is the interpretation of chapter 20. The finger is mainly pointed at Saint Papias, not Saint John. This is the real issue.

Jason said:
"The early opponents of premillennialism don't seem to claim
the same degree of extra-Biblical confirmation of their eschatology as the early
premillennialists claimed for theirs. Papias and Irenaeus refer to men from the
apostolic generation (apostolic leaders or those who knew them) teaching
premillennialism outside of scripture. I'm not aware of any comparable claim
from the early opponents of premillennialism, related to their eschatology. Both
the widespread acceptance of premillennialism early on and the nature of the
claims made about its history by its proponents suggest to me that it's more
likely to be the eschatology of the apostles."

The fact that they had to prove where their view came from by pointing at tradition, only shows that their was opposition. But you are right. From there writtings, we only know their claim of authority for their view. But the fact, that they had to do that shows oppositions.

You will have to prove that all the Apostles tought it. Let alone one Apostle. You will also have to prove that it was the majority view before Saint John's revelation. As well as After Saint John's Revelation......since you think all the Apostles tought it.


[1] page 381, [2] page 565, [3] page 451,[4] page 451,[10] page 500 edited by David Bercot, in the book "A dictionary of Early Christian beliefs"

[5] page 121 by Leo Donald Davis, in the book "The first Seven Ecumenical Councils(325-787) their history and theology

[6] pages 69-70,[7] pages 73-74, from the book "Antioch: Incarnational Theology & Ministry" edited by Joseph Allen & Michel Najim

[8] page 83, [9] pages 83-84 of the Blackwekk dictionary of Eastern Christianity. Edited by Ken Parry, David J. Melling, Dimitri Brady, Sidney H. Griffith & John F. Healey. published by Blackwell, copyright 1999,2001

[11] page 124, [12] page 125, [13]page 129 by Jaroslav Pelikan, in the book "The Christian tradition: A history of the Development of Doctrine" Vol 1, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600)


Patricia Burns said...

During the Millennium -

The thousand years, the Millennium, will occur AFTER the Seventh Trumpet (1 Thess.4:16-17), AFTER the marriage of the Lamb has taken place in heaven, and DIRECTLY AFTER the battle of Armageddon.

AFTER the battle of Armageddon, during the Millennium, in Israel, in the valley of Hamongog, Gog (Satan) and all his multitude will be buried; for seven months Gog and all his multitude will be buried (Eze.39:11-12).

In death Gog/Satan is then bound in the bottomless pit throughout the Millennium (Re.20:1-3).

During the Millennium, they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons; they shall burn them with fire seven years (Eze.39:9-10).

During the Millennium, the KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Re.19:16 - Jesus) will rule all nations with a rod of iron (Re.12:5, Re.19:15).

God will spare ONE-SIXTH part (Eze.39:2) of the heathen who will go into the Millennium. They will repopulate the earth (Re.20:8) their numbers growing as the sand of the sea (Re.20:8).

During the Millennium, every one that is left of all the nations (Eze.39:2) WHICH CAME AGAINST Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles (Zech.14:16). And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain (Zech.14:17). And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles (Zech.14:18). This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles (Zech.14:19).

The Lamb’s wife (Re.19:7), the saints of the most High (Dan.7:22), the church (1 Cor.10:32) throughout all ages (Eph.3:21), will live AND reign WITH Christ throughout the thousand years.

During the Millennium, the immortal saints will judge the world (Dan.7:22, 1 Cor.6:2-3, Re.20:4).

During the Millennium, the saints of the most High (Christ Jesus’ wife) are the glory set among the heathen (Eph.39:21).

Patricia (©) Bible Prophecy on the Web
Author of the self-study aid, The Book of Revelation Explained © 1982

Jnorm888 said...

What does this have to do with the conversation at hand?


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