Papias Said Judas Was an Amillennialist

The Ante-Nicene Church Father Irenaeus taught extensively on Chiliasm (the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus upon the Earth beginning after His Second Coming) in his fifth book of Against Heresies.  In chapter thirty-three, Irenaeus provides further proofs that mandate a Chiliastic or Premillennial realization of the Kingdom.  This includes the blessing made from Isaac to Jacob: […]

The Gospel of Matthew Was First Written in Hebrew

Though no copies are extant, there is good historical evidence that Matthew’s Gospel was first written in Hebrew.  Around 130 A.D., Church father Papias (a former student of the Apostle John) explained: So then Matthew wrote the oracles in the Hebrew language, and everyone interpreted them as he was able.  (Recorded by Eusebius in Church […]

Adam Died in that “Day” or Millennium

God told Adam that in the day that he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil he would surely die (Gen. 2:17).  Adam did eat of the tree (Gen. 3:6) and nevertheless went on to live to the impressive age of 930 years (Gen. 5:5).  The most common explanation for the apparent […]

Tertullian Reported that the New Jerusalem Appeared During His Lifetime

The Ante-Nicene Church Fathers as a whole are believed to have taught some unusual or bizarre doctrines.  Quite often this reputation stems from readers neglecting to understand the material carefully in its given context and not taking into account the different writing styles that were common to the ancients.  However, there are times when something […]

Tertullian Does Not Want You to Baptize Your Babies

John MacArthur has written a powerful work entitled “A Scriptural Critique of Infant Baptism.” My own awareness of this teaching came from an almost visceral anger toward it from paedobaptists (advocates of infant baptism). MacArthur has effectively given new life to the old debate on the practice of infant baptism. Both seminary trained theologians and […]

The Ante-Nicene Church and Non-Systematized Eschatology

INTRODUCTION A high percentage of the Ante-Nicene church fathers held to a premillennial return of Christ.  At times a given father made prima facie contrary statements regarding the timing and nature of this advent.  The inquiry here considers how these contrary statements may actually be in harmony when the father’s writings and historical setting are […]

Irenaeus Did Not Teach that Jesus Lived into His Fifties Before Being Crucified

Several ante-Nicene Church Fathers confirm that Revelation was written toward the end of Domitian’s reign. This places the date of Revelation’s composition at approximately 95 or 96 A.D. Irenaeus’ teaching on this represents the earliest extant quote on the matter. Because the partial and full preterists scheme falls apart if Revelation was written after 70 […]