Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Amillennialism of Theophilus [A.D. 115-180]

The eschatology of Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, can be best gleaned from his writings concerning the resurrection and the final judgment (Apologia ad Autolycum). It is clear that he believed in one resurrection consisting of both believers and unbelievers.

“But you do not believe that the dead are raised. When the resurrection shall take place, then you will believe, whether you will or no; and your faith shall be reckoned for unbelief, unless you believe now. And why do you not believe? Do you not know that faith is the leading principle in all matters?” (To Autolycus. Book I, Chapter VIII, Faith Required in All Matters.)

Theophilus places the judgment directly after the resurrection, while making no mention of a millennium in between.

“Wherefore also, when man had been formed in this world, it is mystically written in Genesis, as if he had been twice placed in Paradise; so that the one was fulfilled when he was placed there, and the second will be fulfilled after the resurrection and judgment” (To Autolycus. Book II, Chap. XXVI. — God’s Goodness in Expelling Man from Paradise).

He goes to great efforts in his letter to defend the resurrection by using examples from the creation account, yet makes no mention of a millennium.