Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Amillennialism of Ignatius [A.D. 30-107]


Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, was martyred during the reign of Trajan (A.D. 98-117). In His Epistle to the Magnesians, Chapter XI, he states:

“He also died, and rose again, and ascended into the heavens to Him that sent Him, and is sat down at His right hand, and shall come at the end of the world, with His Father’s glory, to judge the living and the dead, and to render to every one according to his works.”

He places Christ’s coming “at the end of the world”, thus denying any earthly millennium. In addition, the purpose of His coming is “to judge the living and the dead, and to render to every one according to his works”, not to reign from some earthly temple made of human hands.

In addition, Ignatius knew nothing of any special covenant with Christ-rejecting Jews. In the same Epistle, Ignatius writes:

“It is absurd to speak of Jesus Christ with the tongue, and to cherish in the mind a Judaism which has now come to an end. For where there is Christianity there cannot be Judaism.” (Epistle to the Magnesians, Chapter X).

Ignatius’ “Replacement Theology” continues…

“If any one preaches the one God of the law and the prophets, but denies Christ to be the Son of God, he is a liar, even as also is his father the devil, (Comp. John 8:44) and is a Jew falsely so called, being possessed of mere carnal circumcision.” (Epistle to the Philadelphians, Chapter VI)

Thus, Ignatius is clearly Amillennial, and his views on Judaism would be rejected by today's premillennialists.

Note: I am using the term “amillennial” in a broad sense, based solely on writings concerning the timing of the resurrection and judgment when compared to the Second Advent. Postmillennialism is a possibility here as well, as both schools lump all three events together.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your quote from Ignatius is from his longer version, which nearly all scholars agree were written c350.

JaredMithrandir said...

"ugh" teaching that Jews who reject Jesus aren't saved isn't the same as denying their national Covenant still stands.

In fact that's what the vast majority fo dispensaitonalist Pre-Millenals beleive.

I however do NOT believe the Millennium is the Davidic Covenant, I believe the New Jerusalem is the fulfillment of both the Davidic Covenant and The Church.