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I have just received this book in the mail and have been pouring over it.  As I do with every interpretation of the Apocalypse, I see how the author treats ch. 20 first thing.

I must say...I am GREATLY disappointed!  I was told by a few people on this forum to read it, and it is PRE-MILLENNIAL!!!

This cannot truly be a Catholic interpretation, can it?  There was that (very small) early portion of the Church that clinged to Chialism (belief in a literal "1,000 year" Messianic Kingdom), but that was quickly stomped out by great saints like St. Augustine, who thought it too carnal to be true.  As a matter of fact, the Eastern portion of the early Church (the portion which had the pedigree when it came to Early Church Fathers with direct relationship to the original Apostles) nearly refused to canonize the Apocalypse of St. John due to the fact that people where interpretting it in a pre-millennial fashion.  In a previous post on the Theological Board, I posted about Apoc. ch. 20 and the fact that the only viable interpretation of ch. 20 verses 1-5 for the Amillennialist is that the "beast" and the "false prophet" were indeed in the first century - with the book being written in a more likely date of 67-68 A.D., or at least set in that timeframe.  This gives pure credence to 666 being Nero Caesar (and the very early copies which exhibited the "616" number, which is the Latin code for Nero).  The "false prophet" could definitely be seen as the Sanhedrin, the "beast of the earth" (earth being better translated as "land," which in Apocalyptic literature usually always means "the land," or Israel).  Henceforth, the "beast of the sea" would be Nero Caesar and the Roman Empire (with "sea" in Apoc. literature almost always meaning "gentile nations.")

Back to Apoc. ch. 20.  Since it is stated that an angel with a great chain laid hold of Satan, and bound him for "1,000 years."  Then directly after this it is stated that those who have resisted the "beast" and the "false prophet" reign with Christ for the "1,000 years."  If the "beast" is the Antichrist as so many Catholics suspect, then that automatically makes them pre-millennialists due to the fact that those who reject the Antichrist, being the "beast," live and reign with Christ for the "1,000 years" (the millennium).

This "Apocalypse problem" has plagued me for years, due to the fact that so many Catholics insist on placing the book in the future exclusively - as Fr. Kramer has done.  The ONLY way a true Amillennialist can see this book is through the lenses of the first century - with perhaps another partial fulfillment in the future (this very website has a great article on the subject) - BUT, the primary fulfillment being the destruction of Jerusalem circa 70 A.D.  This is a very solid Catholic interpretation, showing how the "KIngdom" was set up after the destruction of Biblical Judaism (the Old Covenant), and that Kingdom is the Church.  This also makes more sense out of Matthew 24 and other parts in the synoptic Gospels speaking of a "coming in judgement" (coming on the clouds - apocalyptic for coming in judgment) to those who peirced him - Jerusalem (remember when Jesus told the Sanhedrin that they would see Him seated at the right hand of power and coming with the clouds!  Josephus also accounts of strange occurances in the sky over Jerusalem during those days of the War, like a star shaped like a sword (cross) hanging over Jerusalem and chariots racing across the clouds).  This also makes a ton more sense out of the whole "this generation shall not pass until these things take place" phrase.  We know that Jerusalem and its Temple was absolutely destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans (just read the accounts of Josephus, and see how hundreds of thousands of lives were lost during this 3.5 year war) This, to me, makes a ton of sense due to the fact that the very first verse of the book states that these things must come quickly (Greek:  with haste) - therefore re-affirming a 68 A.D. authorship.

BUT, with all of this being said, we have Our Lady of La Salette to contend with.  This approved Marian apparition states things about the two witnesses being Enoch and Elijah (and not symbols of the Law and Prophets as in the true Amillennial interpretation).  She also speaks of the "10 kings of Antichrist" and disasters that will plague the earth that echo to the colorful descriptions within the pages of the Apocalypse.  All of this just adds to the confusion.

I guess my question to all of you Trads out there is this:  How many of you actually believe in a literal "1,000 year" Messianic Kingdom?  And how many of you believe that the Kingdom was set up after the Resurrection of Christ, and more fully after the destruction of Biblical Judaism via the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D., when Satan was publicly bound?  For me, this is a major problem, because of the Amillennial stance of the Catholic Church which is in DIRECT contrast to the naming of the "beast" as Antichrist.  This is something that I think should be clarified by the teaching Magesterium - since the Holy Office has once stated that "pre-millennialism cannot be taught safely."

Any thoughts?
Very interesting topic and take, Nic. I have no fixed belief on any of this, but many questions. Here is one:

for someone like yourself, what does the Book of the Apocalypse tell us about the future? Nothing? Very little? What? I would like to hear this answered first.

Also, why can't the Apocalypse refer simultaneously to what transpired in the first century A.D. AND to the future? Isn't the Bible full of this sort of thing? The Exodus account of Moses and the Red Sea and the Angel of Death could be said (could it not?) to refer to things that happened in Moses' lifetime and to things that happened in the Life of Christ, and therefore to things past and future (with respect to the original moment of historical context). I am just wondering out aloud.  Obviously, in such cases, we would have to say that the Biblical text refers to two things equally but differently. But couldn't the Apocalypse refer to both past and future?

Anyway, interesting post.
(08-04-2009, 10:03 PM)maldon Wrote: [ -> ]Very interesting topic and take, Nic. I have no fixed belief on any of this, but many questions. Here is one:

for someone like yourself, what does the Book of the Apocalypse tell us about the future? Nothing? Very little? What? I would like to hear this answered first.

Also, why can't the Apocalypse refer simultaneously to what transpired in the first century A.D. AND to the future? Isn't the Bible full of this sort of thing? The Exodus account of Moses and the Red Sea and the Angel of Death could be said (could it not?) to refer to things that happened in Moses' lifetime and to things that happened in the Life of Christ, and therefore to things past and future (with respect to the original moment of historical context). I am just wondering out aloud.  Obviously, in such cases, we would have to say that the Biblical text refers to two things equally but differently. But couldn't the Apocalypse refer to both past and future?

Anyway, interesting post.

The Apocalypse being "dual-prophetic" is what I also believe.  With that being said, I still believe that the primary fulfillment was in the 1st century and the book's main focus is to show Christians how the Kingdom was set up on this earth.
I have several thoughts on this and thanks for making me think

Perhaps Apocalypse is cyclical in nature and can refer to each millenium if you like maybe 3 millenium would be the last (shrug)

As a society or community people change their idea of God and self, like the different periods in history Renaissance, Enlightenment etc.( i think it's called a paradigm shift in conciousness) could this mass not form a kind of living antichrist or a worshipping body to antichrist  !!!

Maybe Apocalypse can be individual as well, my personal apocalypse would be my death, Also can be regarded to peoples ie; Sudan etc...!!

Thanks for making me think