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Premillennialism attempts to take the Bible literally concerning the details of the second coming of Christ. Premillennialism is the view that Christ's second coming will occur prior to his Millennial Kingdom, and that the Millennial Kingdom is a literal 1,000-year reign.[1] The "establishment of the millennial kingdom" is to occur after 7 years of Tribulation during which time the Antichrist persecutes believers, followed by "the outpouring of God's wrath on mankind." [2]

Premillennialism and the early church

Premillennialism was the most prevalent held view of the early church. Noted church historian Philip Schaff decclared, "The most striking point in the eschatology of the ante-Nicene Age (A.D. 100-325) is the prominent chiliasm, or millenarianism, . . . a widely current opinion of distinguished teachers, such as Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Methodius, and Lactantius." (History of the Christian Church, Scribner, 1884; Vol. 2, p. 614).[3]

Premillennialism is considered by its adherents to be an element of Conservative Christian theology. There was substantial support for it during the early centuries of Church history. However, many other conservative Christians believe either in Postmillennialism or Amillennialism (literally, without a millennium). While the Liberal Christian view is usually that no literal millennial period will occur, the largest and oldest of the Christian denominations are neither Premillennialist, Postmillennialist, or Liberal.

See also


Further reading

  • Moorhead, James H. "Between Progress and Apocalypse: A Reassessment of Millennialism in American Religious Thought, 1800-1880," Journal of American History, Vol. 71, No. 3 (Dec., 1984), pp. 524–542 in JSTOR
  • Weber, Timothy P. Living in the Shadow of the Second Coming: American Premillennialism, 1875-1982 (2nd ed. 1987)


  3. Premillenialism - Theopedia