Rudiments of Dispensationalism in the Ante-Nicene Period
Part 1: Israel and the Church in the Ante-Nicene Fathers

Bibliotheca Sacra [BSac 144:575 (Jul 87) pp. 254-276]
Larry V. Crutchfield

Part 1: Appendix

[1] The First Epistle of Clement chaps. 22–37. According to Jesse Forrest Silver, Clement’s premillennialism is evident in these chapters by his “repeated exhortations ‘in view of the second coming of Christ’“ (The Lord’s Return [New York: Fleming H. Revell, Co., 1914], p. 51). Clement’s supposed premillennialism is usually based on his association with the apostles, especially Paul (Phil 4:3), and their eschatological teachings. See George N. H. Peters, The Theocratic Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus, the Christ, 3 vols. (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1957), 1:494–95; Daniel T. Taylor, The Reign of Christ on Earth (Boston: Scriptural Tract Repository, 1882), p. 51; and J. A. Seiss, The Last Times (Baltimore: T. Newton Kurtz, 1859), pp. 238-39.
[2] The First Epistle of Clement chap. 23.
[3] Premillennialism: Epistle to the Ephesians chap. 11 (refs. to “last times”). This evidence is set forth by Peters, The Theocratic Kingdom, 1:495, and Taylor, The Reign of Christ on Earth, p. 54, and quoted with approval by Charles C. Ryrie, The Basis of the Premillennial Faith (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1953), p. 21. First resurrection (not explicitly so-called): Epistle to the Romans chap. 4; quoted by Taylor, p. 54, and Richard Cunningham Shimeall, Christ’s Second Coming (New York: John F. Trow and Richard Brinkerhoff, 1865), pp. 63-64. The evidence cited for Ignatius on both premillennialism and the first resurrection is not altogether compelling.
[4] Epistle to Polycarp chaps. 1, 3.
[5] Epistle to the Philippians chap. 5. Position based on Polycarp’s association with the Apostle John and with premillenarians like Papias (see Irenaeus Against Heresies 5.33.4; Peters, The Theocratic Kingdom, 1:495; Taylor, The Reign of Christ on Earth, pp. 54-55; Shimeall, Christ’s Second Coming, p. 64; Silver, The Lord’s Return, p. 60; and John F. Walvoord, The Millennial Kingdom [Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub. House, 1959], p. 39).
[6] Fragments 4 and 6.
[7] The Didache chap. 16, secs. 6–7. The position here is based primarily on the belief in a double resurrection (see Ryrie, The Basis of the Premillennial Faith, pp. 19-20).
[8] Ibid., secs. 1–3.
[9] Epistle of Barnabas chap. 15.
[10] Ibid., chap. 21.
[11] The Shepherd of Hermas Similitudes 3 and 4. Almost everyone, it is said, concedes that Hermas was premillennial (cf. Peters, The Theocratic Kingdom, 1:495; Walvoord, The Millennial Kingdom, p. 119; and Ryrie, The Basis of the Premillennial Faith, p. 20). The evidence, however, falls short of being conclusive.
[12] The Shepherd of Hermas Visions 4 and 11. Is this a reference to the pretribulation rapture? See also Similitude 9, 7, where the Master is expected to “come suddenly” to examine the tower. This seems to be a reference to rapture out of the midst of on-going tribulation (i.e., Roman persecution), or a type of imminent intratribulationism rather than pretribulationism.
[13] Dialogue with Trypho chap. 81; frag. 15. (Cf. Taylor, The Reign of Christ on Earth, p. 59, quote credited to Justin.)
[14] Ibid., chaps. 27–29, 43, 45–47, 80–81 et al.
[15] Premillennialism: Dialogue with Trypho chaps. 80–81 (esp. 81). Double resurrection: Dialogue with Trypho chaps. 80–81, 113 (“the holy resurrection”).
[16] See Taylor, p. 66; Peters, The Theocratic Kingdom, 1:495; Silver, The Lord’s Return, p. 66 (based on Jerome, Comm. on Ezek 36; Gennadius, De Dogm. Eccl., chap. 52).
[17] Theophilus to Autolycus 3.28. (See Silver, The Lord’s Returnn, p. 62.)
[18] Jerome Lives of Illustrious Men chap. 18. (Cf. Peters, The Theocratic Kingdom, 1:496.)
[19] Against Heresies 5.23.2; 5.28.2–3; 5.29.2.
[20] Ibid., 3.10.2; 3.11.8; 3.16.8.
[21] Premillennialism: Against Heresies 5.33–36; Proof of Apostolic Preaching 57 and 61. Double resurrection: Against Heresies 5.35.1-2 (“resurrection of the just” versus “the general resurrection”).
[22] Against Heresies 5.29.1. While this citation seems to teach pretribulationism, elsewhere (5.35.1) Irenaeus placed the resurrection of the just after the coming of Antichrist.
[23] Fragments from Commentaries On Daniel 2.4–6.
[24] Fragments from Commentaries On Daniel 2.4, 40.
[25] Treatise on Christ and Antichrist 5 (“the sudden appearing of the Lord”).
[26] See Peters, The Theocratic Kingdom, 1:498, and Seiss, The Last Times, p. 242; The Stromata 4.24.
[27] Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 10 vols. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., n.d.), 2:476, Elucidation 3.
[28] A Treatise on the Soul chap. 37 (possible weak reference to year-day theory).
[29] An Answer to the Jews chaps. 2–6 (esp. chap. 2).
[30] Premillennialism: Against Marcion 3.25. Double resurrection: A Treatise on the Soul chap. 55; Against Marcion 3.25.
[31] Apology chap. 21 (the Second Advent “impends over the world, now near its close”); The Shows chap. 30 (“that fast approaching advent of our Lord”).
[32] Fragments of Chronography of Julius Africanus 1.18.4. See Johannes Quasten, Patrology, 3 vols. (Westminster, MD: Christian Classics, 1983), 2:138.
[33] Treatise XI, “On the Exhortation to Martyrdom,” 11.
[34] Treatise IV, “On the Lord’s Supper,” 13; Treatise VII, “On the Mortality,” 18.
[35] Treatise I, “On the Unity of the Church,” 27.
[36] Eusebius Church History 7.24; Jerome Lives of Illustrious Men chap. 69.
[37] Eusebius Church History 7.24.
[38] The Instructions of Commodianus 80.
[39] Premillennialism: Instructions 43-44, 80. Double resurrection: Instructions 33, 41, 80.
[40] On the Creation of the World (short, no divisions).
[41] Ibid., (“four generations of people”).
[42] Ibid., (Christ to reign with the elect in the seventh millennium); Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John chap. 5.8–9; Jerome Lives of Illustrious Men chap. 18.
[43] The Banquet of the Ten Virgins discourse 9, chaps. 1, 5; Fragments 9.
[44] Ibid., discourse 7, chaps. 5–7; discourse 10, chaps. 2–4.
[45] Ibid., discourse 9, chaps. 1, 5.
[46] The Divine Institutes 7.14, 25–26; The Epitome of the Divine Institutes chap. 70.
[47] Premillennialism: The Divine Institutes 7.14, 24–26; The Epitome of the Divine Institutes chap. 72. Double resurrection: The Divine Institutes 7.22–23, 26; The Epitome of the Divine Institutes chap. 72.
[48] Taylor, The Reign of Christ on Earth, p. 94.
[49] Epiphanius Medicine Box against Heresies 77.36–38; Basil Letter 263.4.
[50] Taylor, p. 96.
[51] In Isaiam proph. lib. 18; in Hieremiam proph. lib. 4; ad Jer 19:10f.
[52] On the Catechising of the Uninstructed chap. 17.28; Sermons on New Testament Lessons Sermon 75, sect. 4; On the Gospel of St. John Tractate 15, secs. 6 and 9; Tractate 9, sec. 6; On the Psalms, Psalm. 6.1.
[53] Ibid.
[54] The City of God 20.7.
[55] In 2 Thessalonians 2:8–9; in 1 Corinthians 15:52.
[56] Arnold D. Ehlert, A Bibliographic History of Dispensationalism (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1965), p. 29.
[57] Compendium of Heretics’ Fables 5.21.
[58] Ehlert, A Bibliographic History of Dispensationalism, pp. 18-19.
[59] Thomas Burnet, Sacred Theory of the Earth (London: J. McGowan, n.d.), p. 260.
[60] Ibid.
[61] Ehlert, p. 18.
[62] Exposition of the Orthodox Faith 2.1.