The Pope is Antichrist

Status
Not open for further replies.

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Originally posted by Paul manata
how did first century Christians know the identity of the antichrist. They *knew* the pope?

Again,

They did not need to know the Pope. The text nowhere says that. They could either know the Spirit of Antichrist which animates the Pope and others, or they could know the one whon restrains AntiChrist. You're really making this 2 Thess. text say more than is there. The Greek just won't allow it.

Fred,

Are you saying that even if the papacy were to melt way, that the pope would still be *the* antichrist?
 

Bladestunner316

Puritan Board Doctor
00_00004.jpg
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by tcalbrecht
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Originally posted by Paul manata
how did first century Christians know the identity of the antichrist. They *knew* the pope?

Again,

They did not need to know the Pope. The text nowhere says that. They could either know the Spirit of Antichrist which animates the Pope and others, or they could know the one whon restrains AntiChrist. You're really making this 2 Thess. text say more than is there. The Greek just won't allow it.

Fred,

Are you saying that even if the papacy were to melt way, that the pope would still be *the* antichrist?

No Tom,

I'm saying that you can't use 2 Thess 2:6 to require that the believers in Paul's day know the identity of the Antichrist. The Greek is ambiguous at best.

For example, this is a case where the Byzantine and Alexandrian (or critical and majority, if you like) readings are IDENTICAL and you have two different translations:

Knowing the restrainer, the restrained revealed
ESV 2 Thessalonians 2:6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.

NASB 2 Thessalonians 2:6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed.

knowing the restrainer, the restrainer revealed
NKJ 2 Thessalonians 2:6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.

ASV 2 Thessalonians 2:6 And now ye know that which restraineth, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season.

GENEVA 2 Thessalonians 2:6 And nowe ye knowe what withholdeth that he might be reueiled in his time.

TYNDALE 2 Thessalonians 2:6 And nowe ye knowe what with holdeth: even that he myght be vttered at his tyme.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Originally posted by Paul manata
how did first century Christians know the identity of the antichrist. They *knew* the pope?

Again,

They did not need to know the Pope. The text nowhere says that. They could either know the Spirit of Antichrist which animates the Pope and others, or they could know the one whon restrains AntiChrist. You're really making this 2 Thess. text say more than is there. The Greek just won't allow it.

it's systematics. when this text is tied in with others the conclusion is unavoidable

Funny how nearly every Systematics text disagrees with you! :bigsmile:

But at least we each get to up our post count! :lol:

[Edited on 12/28/2004 by fredtgreco]
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
Its very sad people think the Reformers believed the pope is the antichrist was just because they hated him. The truth is they hated him because they recognized him as the antichrist.

It wasnt something they just asserted either, they went to great lengths to prove it.
Francis Turretin's 7th Disputation, "whether it can be proven the pope of Rome is the Antichrist": http://www.iconbusters.com/iconbusters/works-turretin.htm

John Calvin's Institutes Book 4, Chapter 7 http://www.smartlink.net/~douglas/calvin/bk4ch07.html
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
The position that the Pope as the antichrist is built largely in part on a historicist understanding of Revelation. But the problem with historicism is that it overlooks the fact that Revelation is a recapitulation. ;)

Really, though, I think historicism as a position leads to more confusion than clarity, simply because every generation tends to read its own circumstances into the prophecies and distorts the understanding of them. Nobody has convinced me yet that Revelation is to be read chronologically.

R. Fowler White has a good article on the recapitulation position that is worth reading, but I don't have the link at the moment. Chuck Hill also has a good Revelation lecture series at www.thirdmill.org. I know White and Hill aren't Calvin and Turretin, but if you have to be in order to know anything then I guess we're all dummies.
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
Recapitulation is the view that Revelation is a telling and retelling of the same story over again, but with different details and emphasis each time.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by doulosChristou
Wow! Thanks for all those links Andrew. I found Turretin's well-reasoned Scriptural arguments the most compelling. My dear friend Richard Bennett, a former RC priest and now a brother in Christ, wrote an article a while back on this topic:

http://www.bereanbeacon.org/articles/antichrist_unveiled.htm

Does anyone know whether it is true that the Jesuits originated/popularized both Preterism and Futurism during the counter-reformation?

You're welcome!

Excellent article.

That's my understanding too. Preterism and Futurism, as I understand it, have a Jesuit pedigree but Reformed credentials today. Historicism, either Amill or Postmill, has a Reformed pedigree but few Reformed credentials today.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot

Excellent article.

That's my understanding too. Preterism and Futurism, as I understand it, have a Jesuit pedigree but Reformed credentials today. Historicism, either Amill or Postmill, has a Reformed pedigree but few Reformed credentials today.

Though partially true I would not totally agree with this, Andrew.



http://www.kendavies.addr.com/start/articles/gary_demar/gary_01a.htm


http://www.kendavies.addr.com/start/articles/gary_demar/gary_01b.htm

http://www.presence.tv/cms/shreds-demar.shtml

:2cents:

[Edited on 12-31-2004 by Paul manata]

I appreciate the links, Paul, and will give them careful study before I respond in-depth. However, the last link did not work.

I offer this link as a preliminary rebuttal: http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/antichrist.htm

To clarify a little bit further, I am not entering a full-length debate on the subject of historicism vs. the other interpretative approaches. I believe with the Reformers that the Pope/Papacy is Antichrist, and yet I believe Christ came in judgment on Jerusalem in 70 AD. I note, Paul, your use of the word 'partially' and also that you are I believe a partial preterist. There are distinctions to be made in this discussion of eschatology that are important which I don't claim to have all the answers to. I do believe that a concerted effort on the part of Jesuits was made to divert the Reformed emphasis on the Papacy as Antichrist which lead to the popularization of other schools of interpretation besides historicism. I am postmill as were the Puritans but not all Reformers. I believe that postmill historicism, generally speaking, is the Biblical and Confessional approach to eschatology. The identification of the Pope as Antichrist is a very important aspect of the Reformation which views Roman Catholicism as the manifestation of the mystery of inquity spoken of by the Apostle Paul. Having said that, I respect amill and other kinds of postmill commentators who approach what are sometimes admittedly difficult Scriptures with a view towards understanding how Christ is working now and conquering his enemies. There is much study on my part that is required to adequately respond to all the points that have been made on this subject. However, I started this thread with an eye towards the consensus of the Reformed Church historically as to the identity of Antichrist and I believe this is sound Biblical interpretation. I don't feel the need to debate it now, but with futher study on my own I may revisit this thread.

I appreciate the insights of Fred, Peter and others who have commented in support of the validity or plausability of the Reformers' viewpoints. And I appreciate the challenges posed by Paul and others as well. It's an intermural debate. It is a debate of much more consequence than most in the church today would acknowledge, and yet it's a debate not over fundamentals of the faith, but of Christ's workings throughout history. I say now with the Reformers and the Westminster Assembly that the Pope is Antichrist and look forward to exploring this subject in greater depth in 2005.
 

Calvin Cormier

Puritan Board Freshman
Andrew . . . . the Pope is Antichrist

Paul . . . . . . . prove it from the Bible

Qestion: In that God did not state the language to be used, can it be proved from the Bible that Neron Qysr is the numbered beast?
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Paul,

Besides David Chilton and Ken Gentry, do you have anyone else who takes your position? Anyone, perhaps, outside the 20th-21st centuries? Quoting church fathers to show how cruel Nero was doesn't make your case, you know.

I note that you didn't respond to any of the arguments put forth by Reformers and Presbyterian theologians previously who identify the Pope as Antichrist.

Chilton and Gentry vs. the Reformers and Presbyterians...hmmm. I know with whom I stand.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Paul manata
But we must not interpret Scripture with a newspaper

:up:

and *that* is the downfall of historicism. In my opinion.

Does this mean that preterism or partial preterism doesn't make reference to history? What a foolish thing to say. Historicism and preterism both make reference to history. Whether Nero or the Pope, neither is mentioned specifically in the Bible. We are taking Scriptural teaching on the mystery of inquity and applying it to history. It is dispensationalism that interprets Scripture with a newspaper.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
More thinking aloud on this isse:

Partial preterism and historicism both seem to agree that Antichrist is associated with Rome (cf. Rev. 17). One posits the civil authority, Nero, and the other posits the ecclesiastical authority, the Bishop of Rome, the Papacy, the so-called "Vicar of Christ on Earth." Both assume the title of Deity. As Emperor, Nero and the Caesars claimed divinity. Likewise, "Pope Innocent III enacted in writing, "˜We may according to the fulness of our power, dispose of the law and dispense above the law. Those whom the Pope of Rome doth separate, it is not a man that separates them but God. For the Pope holdeth place on earth, not simply of a man but of the true God.´ I Book of Gregory 9 Decret. C3. The Lateran Council, addressing Pope Julius II in an oration delivered by Marcellus states, "˜Take care that we lose not that salvation, that life and breath which thou hast given us, for thou art our shepherd, tou art physician, thou art governor, thou are husbandman, thou finally ART ANOTHER GOD ON EARTH´ Council Edit. Colm. Agrip. 1618. Pope Nicholas assumed the title of God. His words are:"”"˜I am all in all and above all, so that God Himself, and I, the Vicar of God, hath both one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do . . . Wherefore, if those things that I do be said not to be done of man, but of God. WHAT CAN YOU MAKE ME BUT GOD? Again, if prelates of the Church be called and counted of Constantine for gods, I then, being above all prelates, seem by this reason to be ABOVE ALL GODS. Wherefore, no marvel if it be in my power to dispense with all things, yea, with the precepts of Christ.´ See Decret. Par Distinct 96 Ch. 7 Edit Lugd. 1661." (Ian Paisley, Antichrist Exalts Himself Above God, http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=antichrist_18). Scripture does teach that Antichrist sits in the temple of God: "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (2 Thess. 2.4). In my view, the clearest fulfillment of this verse is the Papacy.
 

Robin

Puritan Board Junior
I promise this is relevant -- though some might disagree....

I'd be very careful guys....is the book of Revelation prophecy ONLY....OR, does it have another genre trait??? How about apocalyptic literature?

If it is apocalyptic -- it bears much OT symbolism so as to describe how history works compared to God's working in it rather than describing specific current events -- making the point to the Church, that though they are being killed (it doesn't look like we're winning) Christ will triumph -- and the bad guys going to get it in the end.

If we only view Revelation as prophecy (information about the future) then we're doomed to tie endless current events to what it says. Speculations galore.....

We can't blame the Reformers for thinking the Pope is Antichrist----so many Reformers died at the hands of Rome (100's of thousands.) Major historic events colored their expectations: the Spanish Armada; the English civil war; the French apostasy, etc., (All the huge, scary, disruptive current events impacted their interpretations. Sound familiar?) Some went so far as to set dates for Christ's return. So....should we not be careful in all this??? Are we likely to repeat their mistakes?

Revelation is a book of symbols -- not a puzzle book. It is supposed to be a "blessing."

And the upshot of it all is, Revelation is designed to get the Church to 1. Not be idle-be about the work of delivering the Message of the Gospel and 2. Keep watch (oil in the lamp) not setting dates...but being shrewd, wise and faithful....all the while, encouraging the Church with the knowledge of Christ - what He has done and will do.

Is anyone on this page????

Hmmmmmm.....

Robin :candle:

[Edited on 1-3-2005 by Robin]
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Originally posted by Paul manata
But we must not interpret Scripture with a newspaper

:up:

and *that* is the downfall of historicism. In my opinion.

Does this mean that preterism or partial preterism doesn't make reference to history? What a foolish thing to say. Historicism and preterism both make reference to history. Whether Nero or the Pope, neither is mentioned specifically in the Bible. We are taking Scriptural teaching on the mystery of inquity and applying it to history. It is dispensationalism that interprets Scripture with a newspaper.

wow. That just showed me you don't understand (1) historicism, (2) Preterism, (3) equivocated on the word "history."

Feel free to enlighten me. Why do you say that historicism interprets Scripture through a newspaper, but preterism doesn't?
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Paul,

Besides David Chilton and Ken Gentry, do you have anyone else who takes your position? Anyone, perhaps, outside the 20th-21st centuries? Quoting church fathers to show how cruel Nero was doesn't make your case, you know.

I note that you didn't respond to any of the arguments put forth by Reformers and Presbyterian theologians previously who identify the Pope as Antichrist.

Chilton and Gentry vs. the Reformers and Presbyterians...hmmm. I know with whom I stand.

Yes.

Some quotes said he was the beast.

I did respond. If you remember, Andrew, I took the very first paper link by a "reformer" and critiqued via first century time indicators.

Hmmmm, the only way to make the Pope get 666 is by using latin, a language that NO FIRST CENTURY Christian used YET revelation was written to them, as well as being fulfilled soon. So, I know where I stand. What a joke to have to use latin to make the Pope = 666. I'm sure John really was thinking about the latin language when he wrote Revelation.

Well, who else do you have to cite on your behalf besides Chilton and Gentry? Anyone outside the 20th-21st century? I'm waiting.

I am unable to find your critique of a specific Reformer's exegisis or comments. Can you point me towards your critique?
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Originally posted by Paul manata
But we must not interpret Scripture with a newspaper

:up:

and *that* is the downfall of historicism. In my opinion.

Does this mean that preterism or partial preterism doesn't make reference to history? What a foolish thing to say. Historicism and preterism both make reference to history. Whether Nero or the Pope, neither is mentioned specifically in the Bible. We are taking Scriptural teaching on the mystery of inquity and applying it to history. It is dispensationalism that interprets Scripture with a newspaper.

wow. That just showed me you don't understand (1) historicism, (2) Preterism, (3) equivocated on the word "history."

Feel free to enlighten me. Why do you say that historicism interprets Scripture through a newspaper, but preterism doesn't?

ask the person who I gave the thumbs up to.

So you don't have an answer?
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Paul,

I am going to make a few comments in response to what you have said, and then I will not interact with you further on this subject. It does not seem profitable for either of us.

You said that Chilton and Gentry are specialists in the area of eschatology and the Reformers and Presbyterians are not. That begs the question.

I started this thead, not you. I started it with the intent of exploring why it is that the consensus of the historic Reformed Church acknowledged the Pope to be Antichrist, a view which is rejected by many even in Reformed circles today, although the original Westminster Confession identifies him as such. I am all for exegetical study of the issue at hand, but that wasn't the primary focus of my starting the thread. When you were given the opportunity to defend your view, you cited people you give credit to. And yet you seem outraged that I would cite Reformers who hold to my view. That seems like a double standard.

You said that the views of historicist theologians are constantly changing. I cannot fathom why you would say that. My very first post shows how the Church has for 1000 years testified the same thing: the Pope is Antichrist.

The 42 months need not be taken literally. It can be taken symbollically in accord with the type of genre in which this statement is found. See: http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/times.htm

I have looked and looked and cannot find a single instance in this thread where you responded to a specific Reformer's comments or exegesis.

It's obvious we disagree on this whole issue and I would rather not have this thread degenerate into something ugly. It's late on the East Coast and getting later on the West Coast, so if I have said something untoward, please forgive me. I don't wish to argue, my desire has been to explore the Reformers' view and why the Reformed Church today no longer holds to it.

Peace and best wishes,
Andrew
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Paul,

My last word to you on this subject is simply this:

God's Word alone teaches us what we are to understand concerning Antichrist and any other Scriptural doctrine. That is my starting point as I study this issue.

However, I would be foolish to ignore the consensus of the Reformed Church's teaching for the past 1000 years on this subject. Just as I would be foolish to fail to acquaint myself with the teachings of Chilton and Gentry. I aim to study it all. But I have as a general perspective the conviction that the Reformers' "opinions" and exegesis are worth their weight in gold and not to be disregarded lightly. I frankly don't have that kind of currency with respect to the views of Chilton and Gentry. That's a built-in bias for which I am not ashamed. Luther, Calvin, Edwards, Spurgeon, Henry and others are among the most brilliant, scholarly and godly minds of any age, and their exegesis appears to be unassailable. Moreover, the Confession of my church is one which I adhere to without exception. I have high regard for the Westminster Assembly and agree with everything they wrote. Not because I think they were infallable but because I have yet to see any of their doctrines refuted from Scripture. I also hold to a high view of subscription and if I did object to the Confession on any point, I would probably find a different church (probably the PCA! note: I am a former PCA'er).

Another point: I am not a Greek or Hebrew scholar. Fred's exegesis on this thread has been very helpful. I have to rely on authorities I trust for understanding the Biblical text, and the ones you cite, Paul, are not high on my list, although I credit Gentry highly in certain areas.

Edited.

[Edited on 3-1-2005 by VirginiaHuguenot]
 

Ranger

Puritan Board Freshman
Hey Robin,
I wanted to comment on your discussion of the Revelation's genre. The book itself claims to be a letter, a prophecy and a revelation. That means that the book falls under three major first century genres; epistolary, prophetic and apocalyptic. In regards to symbol this is crucial because it means that the symbols were meant to be understood. Typical apocalyptic literature was pseudonymous and intended to not be interpreted, but this is prophetic apocalypse written as a letter meaning to be read out loud to a congregation. At various times John tells the reader to understand or discern the symbols as well.
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
Actually, Henry didn't write a commentary on Revelation. He died before completing the last books of the Bible, and other ministers finished his work. On the other hand Calvin did write explicity historicistical comments on other prophecies. Thomas Goodwin wrote a historicist Exposition on the Revelation and James Durham wrote his own commentary. Gentry, to my knowledge, never wrote a commentary. And Chilton was a heretic (just taking preterism to its logical conclusion).

We have no reason to believe Revelation was written exclusively about events that would happen during first century. John said the events would shortly start to come to pass not shortly finish coming to pass. So John's apocalypse begins in the 1st century but doesnt necessarily end there. Notice the book ends with the consumation of all things. Another thing, by the end of the 1st century, Christianity had spread all over Europe, Paul himself traveled to Spain, possibly as far as Britian, so there were definiately Latin speaking Christians, but thats irrelevent.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top