Author Topic: New Heaven / New Earth  (Read 966 times)

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Offline ScoJ

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New Heaven / New Earth
« on: September 23, 2010, 12:34:36 PM »
Hello, All,

As I have been investigating Orthodoxy, I have been intrigued to discover that what I have believed about eschatology is quite similar to what the OC affirms.  I'm still a bit hung-up on chiliasm, though.  I've read through several of the threads on this forum about chiliasm, but I still have a few questions.

Back in 2003, in the "Orthodox Eschatology" thread, ChuckS writes this concerning the interpretation of St. John's Apocalypse, especially the 1000 year reign of Christ (Rev. 20):

What Orthodoxy does is interprate it the way it has always been interprated...the way St. John interprated it. St John explained his interpratation to his Church and they passed that exact interpratation on to all the other Churches.

How does the Church know what St. John taught concerning the book of Revelation?  Is there anything in the writings of the Fathers supporting what ChuckS said?  It seems far more likely that Justin Martyr affirms what St. John presumably taught.  From Dialog with Trypho, Chapter LXXXI:

And further, there was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who prophesied, by a revelation that was made to him, that those who believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem; and that thereafter the general, and, in short, the eternal resurrection and judgment of all men would likewise take place.

Justin is writing this within only sixty years of the presumed date of the writing of Apocalypse, perhaps less.  Wouldn't his understanding of the book be the most similar to the contemporary understanding of the Church and the teaching of the Apostles?  In my way of thinking this should carry a lot of weight in the Church, far more than later ante-nicene fathers whose thoughts concerning Revelation and chiliasm were likely influenced by other political and philosophical factors.  Why are EO so willing to dismiss Justin Martyr in view of later EC decisions and writings of the Fathers?

Changing topics slightly: In Against Heresies (Book 5, Chapter XXXV), Irenaeus emphatically affirms the literal fulfillment of many prophecies in Isaiah (Isaiah 6, 26, 65, etc.) at the time of the second coming, the resurrection of the dead, and the age following.  Pre-millennialists typically believe that this restoration takes place during the millennium.  EO certainly do not believe this, but what do they believe about what Irenaeus writes in this section of Heresies?  Is the super-abundance of the earth and the government of Jesus from Jerusalem described by Isaiah and Irenaeus to be understood allegorically or literally during the new heaven/new earth?

Hope this makes sense.  I apologize if these questions sound antagonistic.  I'm not trying to start a fight; I truly have big questions about this.  The only war being waged is in my heart.  Thank you so much in advance!