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Eusebius was Amil

March 17, 2009

Reading Eusebius for an Early Church midterm tomorrow.  Came across this… too funny not to post.

Papias supplies other stories that reached him by word of mouth, along with some strange parables and unknown teachings of the Savior, as well as other more legendary accounts.  Among them, he says that after the resurrection of the dead there will be a thousand-year period when the kingdom of Christ will be established on this earth in material form.  I suppose that he got these notions by misunderstanding the apostolic accounts, not realizing that they had used mystic and symbolic language.  For he was a man of very limited intelligence, as is clear from his books.  Due to him, however, many church writers after him held the same opinion, relying on his early date: Iranaeus, for example, and any others who adopted the same views.

–Eusebius, Church History, 3.39

Hilarious.  And interesting that the pre-mil / amil debate goes back so far.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2009 8:52 pm

    That is really funny. I love how “understanding” it is. It’s like he’s saying, “God love him, but he’s a blooming idiot.”

  2. Steve Ranney permalink
    March 17, 2009 9:55 pm

    Interesting, I think the premil as we know it arose in the 19th Cent. with Ellen G. White. It is intersting also that the early guys were content with non-literal hermeneutics.

  3. March 18, 2009 7:27 am

    good one, hutch!

  4. March 18, 2009 9:18 am

    OH! Are you talking premillenialism and amillenialism?
    took me a while to figure that out.
    I was thinking “Who’s Amil?”

  5. Will Darr permalink
    April 20, 2009 10:27 pm

    I’m working on a big paper right now on patristic thought and Origen has a similar statement “Certain persons, then, refusing the labour of thinking, and adopting a superficial view of the letter of the law, and yielding rather in some measure to the indulgence of their own desires and lusts, being disciples of the letter alone, are of opinion that the fulfilment of the promises of the future are to be looked for in bodily pleasure and luxury; and therefore they especially desire to have again, after the resurrection, such bodily structures as may never be without the power of eating, and drinking, and performing all the functions of flesh and blood, not following the opinion of the Apostle Paul regarding the resurrection of a spiritual body.” His is obviously strictly about the resurrection so not quite the same as the amil/premil debate, but a very similar statement. That’s De Principiis 2.11.2

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