Catholic View of the Millennium

Protestants usually hold one of three eschatological views: pre-millennial, post-millennial, or a-millennial.

For those of you who are familiar with these terms, where does the Catholic view of the millennium fit into this scheme?



I always thought this was a good article about the subject. I think my favorite part is the opening where it says, “if you don’t know how to answer that questions, you’re probably a Catholic.” :slight_smile:

Thank you, Boulder. That was a great article.

It came to the conclusion that I thought it would:

<<As far as the millennium goes, we tend to agree with Augustine and, derivatively, with the amillennialists. The Catholic position has thus historically been “amillennial” (as has been the majority Christian position in general, including that of the Protestant Reformers), though Catholics do not typically use this term. >>


Glad you enjoyed it! :thumbsup:

I love the way he starts the article.

“Are you Pre, Mid, or Post? If you don’t know how to answer that question, you’re probably a Catholic”:slight_smile:

Thank you for posting this article! I have also been wondering about the Church’s position on this matter. :slight_smile:

(1) Post-millennialism – this view interprets the “thousand years” as a very long time. This view also holds that God’s kingdom is being advanced in the world by His grace and the world will eventually be Christianized. Then Christ will return at the close of this period during a time of righteousness and peace. The problem with this view is that the Scriptures do not teach that the world will be even relatively Christianized before the Second Coming. For example, in Matt. 13:24-30;36-43, Jesus says the wicked and the righteous will co-exist until the end of the world, when they will be judged, and either inherit eternal life, or be thrown into eternal fire.

(2) Pre-millenialism (also called “millenarianism”) – like post-millennialists, this view also interprets the “thousand years” as a golden age on earth when the world will be Christianized. But they believe that this period will occur after Christ’s second coming, during which time Christ will reign physically on earth. They believe the Final Judgment occurs when the millennium is over. But Scripture does not teach that there is a thousand year span between the Second Coming and Final Judgment. Instead, Jesus said that when He comes a second time in glory, He will immediately repay every man for what he has done. Matt. 16:27. When Jesus comes, He will separate the sheep from the goats and render judgment. Matt. 25:31-46. There is nothing about any period of time between His coming and final judgment.

(3) Amillennialism – this view also interprets the “thousand years” symbolically, but, ulike the pre and post views, not as a golden age on earth. This view believes the millennium is the period of Christ’s rule in heaven and on earth through His Church. This is because the saints who reign with Christ and to whom judgment has been committed are said to be on their thrones in heaven. Rev. 20:4; cf. 4:4; 11:16. During this time, satan is bound and cannot hinder the spread of the gospel. Rev. 20:3. This is why, they explain, Jesus teaches the necessity of binding the “strong man” (satan) in order to plunder his house and rescue people from his grip. Matt. 12:29. This is also why, after the disciples preached the gospel and rejoiced that the demons were even subject to them, Jesus declared, “I saw satan fall like lightening from heaven.” Luke 10:18. Nevertheless, during this period, the world will not be entirely Christianized because satan, though bound, is still in some sense able to prowl around and attack souls. cf. 1 Peter 5:8. Of the three, this position is most consistent with Catholic teaching (the pre and post-millennium views have been rejected by the Church).

We had a Bible study on Revelation during Lent at my parish. Father said that we are now in the millenium according to Church teaching. Hope that helps!

I am currently reading Carl E. Olson’s “Will Catholics Be Left Behind”

I am about half way through, the first half of the book examines the dispensational view and I am just about getting to a description of the Catholic view. I would recommend this book to anyone seeking a little more meat than the CA overview. I never realized the dispensational distinctions made between Israel and the Church and how certain parts of the Bible are believed to apply to one or the other. Very interesting read so far. Another example of how personal interpretations of the Bible have lead to divisions among the divisions.

Please get out your bibles…read Revelation all the way thru…

Chapter 20 is where the 1000 years of Christ reigning on earth with all christians (those who have previously died and those who were killed during the tribulation and reign of the anti-christ)…

clearly we are not living in that time now!!!

There has been no forced acceptance of the mark of the beast…no tribulation…no 7 bowls of God’s wrath poured out upon the earth…all of this has yet to come to pass and MUST happen before Christ returns to reign here with those who belong to Him!

Any other teaching stands in stark contrast to what God has clearly revealed in His Word…please my brothers and sisters - do not be afraid to sit down and read your bible…it is such a precious gift given to us!

Catholic Church is Post-trib and A-Mill; always has been and always willbe untill the Lord comes back. :slight_smile:

Yes it is, as is the Church which gave it to us, the martyrs who died to pass it (and the traditions associated with it) on to us and the faithful who copied it for us. Then people like Darby and Schofield get a hold of it almost 2000 tears later, and they are the ones I should listen to?

I was doing some research today on this to be able to speak to a co-worker who had asked about it and I came across this article This will talk to you about the end of times with explanations dierectly from the bible; I found it very interesting.

BTW, the Catholic Church gave us the Bible and infalably interprets it, of course we read the bible and correctly understand it. :slight_smile:


Christ IS THE REBUILT TEMPLE. Why do fundies place SO MUCH emphasis on a nation THAT TURNED THEIR BACKS ON THE SON OF GOD?!

this appears to be directed to me as it is my qoute you responded to…but I do not believe that I even mentioned Darby or Schofield…nor did I ask you to listen to them?! I do not appreciate such a comment being directed at me falsely…although I am new to these boards I have been somewhat suprised by the rudness that posters here partake of! a wee bit sad actually:(

the above resonse also applies to this poster - the rudeness with which you express your beliefs is quite remarkable…is there a need to yell at me by using capitals? Whoever said I was a “fundy”?? If you disagree with what I have posted - please feel free to go thru the book of Revelation and explain to myself what it is you believe and why…there really is no need for someone who claims to be a Catholic Christian to respond in such a rude manner on these boards.

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Pretty condesending post, but I’ll ignore that. Catholics read their Bibles hotshot.

Anyway, to your statement.

1The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:


**The Greek word for ‘signified’ is σημαίνω or sēmainō. It means to give a sign, to signify, indicate. In other words, it is a book of signs and symbols. **

That’s not what it says. It says those who were beheaded because of their witness for Jesus and their refusal to take the mark of the beast. Apparently if you are killed in some other way, you don’t make it–you have to be beheaded. Those who have died a natural death obviously won’t be part of this:p

That’s if you read it literally, of course. The problem with literal readings of Revelation (even more than with other parts of the Bible) is that no one really does it. You all cheat. Your theological framework requires you to stick in a whole bunch of people who aren’t mentioned here. Fine–but then don’t claim that you’re simply reading what the text says. You aren’t.

There has been no forced acceptance of the mark of the beast…no tribulation…no 7 bowls of God’s wrath poured out upon the earth

It depends on how you interpret these things. Many would say that the persecution of early Christians is the primary reference here.

Any other teaching stands in stark contrast to what God has clearly revealed in His Word…please my brothers and sisters - do not be afraid to sit down and read your bible…it is such a precious gift given to us!

Plenty of people who read the Bible disagree with you.

Understanding this obvious fact is the first step in having a reasonable conversation about the Bible.

If you don’t want to have a real conversation, but just to shout at people, then I’m afraid you will soon have no one to listen to you, because that gets tiresome pretty quickly.


Clearly hasn’t always been.

In the first three centuries, the predominant view appears to have been premillennial. Not dispensationalism, of course, but what evangelicals today call “classical” premillennialism (“classical” precisely because it has roots in early Christian teaching).

Perhaps the first three centuries is an overstatement, but certainly Irenaeus was a premillennialist, and he seems to be expressing the common view of the second-century Church.

Augustine is usually credited with popularizing the “amillennial” view.

I would question the priest who said that the Church teaches that we are in the millennium now. At least in other contexts, Catholics generally use the phrase “Church teaching” fairly narrowly, so you might want to be careful with it here. This is certainly the traditional view since Augustine, but I’m not sure it’s official teaching.

The Catechism condemns what it calls “millennialism,” but I’m not at all sure the condemnation actually applies to “classical premillennialism.” It definitely applies to postmillennialism, and on other grounds its pretty clear that dispensationalism is contrary to Church teaching. But I’m not convinced that classical premillennialism is unorthodox–in part because that would mean that most Christians for the first three centuries were unorthodox!

I myself do not have a strong preference between amillennialism and “classical premillennialism.” Dispensationalism and postmillennialism seem to me to be the two clearly erroneous views, erring in opposite directions.

The real question, I think, is the relationship between the Church and the Kingdom.


I think much of that has to be viewed in an historical context.
I can certainly see the Christians of the first three centuries, watching thier fellow believers tortured, murdered, hunted down like animals, their churches and books burned, seeing thier situation as a “tribulaton” and looking foward to a golden age called the Millennium.

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