Early Church Fathers


Chiliasm (premillennialism) as understood by the Early Church Fathersis based on a Jewish model of human history and is not supported by the Bible.

About 100 years after Christ, some Jewish rabbis began teaching human history would last 6,000 years:1,000 yearsfor each day of creation. This thinking influenced the Early Church Fathers and is the basis of chiliasm in the first 4 centuries A.D.

Even though the Early Church Fathers consistently based their end-time views on the 6,000 year model, there is no hint of this thinking in the New Testament writings. All we know is that there was the expectation of a Messiah.


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Jewish Millennial Concepts

The Jewish writing Seder Olam Rabbah written in the year 240 C.E. records historical events since the Creation. It assumes humans will have 6,000 years(1,000 years per day of creation) until the final 1,000 years of the Messiah (the 7th day, the day of rest.) The Jewish Talmud also refers to this concept of world history.

One view is that the 6,000 years is divided into: 2,000 years of desolation, 2,000 years of Torah, 2,000 years of the Messianic Era. This view contradicts the view just mentioned in which the Messiah is in year 7,000 for 1,000 years.

Even though the Early Church Fathers began writing about this 6,000 years human history scheme, it is likely the picked it up from the Jews. It is unthinkable that the Rabbis adopted these views from the Christians.

The Early Church Fathers also adopted Greek and Jewish philosophical ideas which influenced the Church (for the worse, in my opinion.)They also adopted Roman ideas about government and applied these to the Church (again, for the worse, in my opinion.)