An Introduction to Old Testament Christophanies–with Justin Martyr

Justin’s Testimony In his magnum opus, Dialogue with Trypho,[1] Justin Martyr taught that there were moments in history when God had personally visited with different people.  But it wasn’t the Father, the Holy Spirit, or God in general who made these special appearances.  It was the Son.  Since he was striving to bring a Jewish […]

The Premillennialism of Polycarp

Polycarp lived from about A.D. 65 to 155, and finds himself among the greatest Christians the world has ever witnessed.  He was a friend of and fellow pupil alongside Ignatius under the apostle John.  Archbishop James Ussher identified Polycarp as the angel of the church in Smyrna,[1] spoken of by Jesus Himself in Revelation 2:8.[2]  […]

The Premillennialism of Lactantius

Lucius Caelius Firmianus Lactantius was a theologian and the spiritual advisor to Constantine I.  He helped shape some of the emperor’s theology and even tutored his son Crispus.[1]  The father may have been given the name Lactantius because of the milky softness of his skin.  He was a master of rhetoric, achieving far greater fame […]

The Premillennialism of Methodius

Methodius or Eubulius lived from 260-312 A.D. and served as bishop of both Olympus and Patara in Lycia.  Jerome records that he was transferred to the See of Tyre in Phoenicia.  He suffered martyrdom at Chalcis in Greece or possibly in Syria.  Methodius is best known as a critic of Origen and his allegorical method […]

The Premillennialism of Tertullian

Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, referred to by Jerome as Tertullian, was the father of Latin Christianity and of western theology.  He was born somewhere between A.D. 145 to 160 in Carthage and died somewhere between A.D. 220 to 240.  Tertullian was a skilled theologian, with an aptitude for apologetics and polemics against various heresies.  His […]

The Premillennialism of Justin Martyr

Perhaps the most overtly premillennial ante-Nicene Church father was Justin Martyr.  He was a Gentile born around 114 and was martyred in 165 A.D.   He was a follower of Plato until he became a disciple of Jesus.  Justin identified the Gospel as the only true philosophy and became an evangelist, proclaiming that truth.[1]  It would […]

The Premillennialism of Papias

Alongside Polycarp, Papias was a student of the apostle John.  He was the bishop of Hierpolis in Phrygia and was martyred in 163 AD (around the same time that Polycarp was martyred).  In addition to enjoying friendship with the apostle John, Papias intimately knew several others who had been alive to interact with Jesus and […]

The Premillennialism of Barnabas

The Epistle of Barnabas was written around 100 A.D. and is attributed to one Barnabas.  Tradition identifies the writer as an Alexandrian Jew living during the time of Trajan and Hadrian.  His name may have actually been Barnabas, though it is just as likely that the epistle was named after an apostle to give it […]

The Premillennialism of Irenaeus

 Irenaeus lived from A.D. 120 to 202, and he served as the bishop of the church in what is now Lyon France.  He was a pupil of the bishop of Smyrna and martyr Polycarp[1], himself a student of the apostle John.  Irenaeus being only one teacher removed from the disciple whom Jesus loved (e.g. John […]

Athanasius Did Not Pen the First List of the New Testament Canon

The idea that Athanasius’ thirty-ninth Festal Letter (367 AD) contains the first complete extant list of the New Testament Canon is common.  It is not just a common belief among layman, but it is even taught by many Bible scholars and professors of Church history.  I believed this for quite some time and even referred […]