Rapture (again)


I don’t necessarily want to call this a challenge, but more a fact finding session with a point.

  1. Are there any documents that predate John Darby (sp) that talk about a pre-trib rapture.

  2. If Not, but you believe in pre-trib, why do you believe?

  3. If there are documents that predate Darby, by how much? Do they predate the Reformation? Are there any the go back to the church fathers?

Finally, how do you respond to questions like those poised by John Martignoni. His views can be downloaded at biblechristiansociety.com/download for free. the Mp3 is called The Rapture and the Bible

Please, only respond if you have thoroughly thought about this, nit just “Thats what i have been taught and it makes sense”

In Christ


Funny, when I saw the thread title I was going to recommend John Martignoni’s CD on the Rapture. I took notes while I was listening to it. As far as ECFs go regarding this teaching, he does mention this:

*There is one obscure writing by someone whose pen name was Pseudo-Ephraim; which has a passage that seems to refer to a pre-Trib rapture, dating approximately from 4th-5th century, and the author’s real name is unknown. Rapture enthusiasts will point to this ONE passage and say, “See! The Early Church believed in a Pre-Trib Rapture!”

The problem is: The exact meaning of the passage is open to dispute since 1) there is no mention of Christ coming in Glory, 2) St Ephraim, upon whose writings Pseudo-Ephraim is supposedly based, did NOT believe in a pre-Trib rapture; and 3) if you take ONE obscure passage from the 4th or 5th century to prove an Early Christian belief in the Rapture, then why don’t you believe ALL the Early Church Fathers who wrote about:

* the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist?
* the authority of the Bishop of Rome?
* baptism as the real washing away of sin?

I’m not sure I can post a link for this, but if you Google “Origins of Modern Dispensationalism” the second article listed tells about Darby, but then beneath that is another article stating that Darby was just plagiarizing the works of Manuel Lacunza and Edward Irving, but their works date only as early as 1812.


What pro-rapture authors/books have you read? I don’t mean the “Left Behind” novel series. I’m talking scholarly material.


I copied this below from another thread I was on.

The rapture is rooted in the belief that the bridegroom will come like a thief in a night to come get his bride. Johns gospel is loaded with themes that resembles the wedding customs of 1st century Israel. Remember when Jesus said “I go to prepare a place for you.” in the gospel of John? Well,if the bride agreed upon the price the bridegroom would pay for her, he would tell her he is going back to his father’s house to prepare a “place” for them when he comes back for her. When will he be done? If it was up to the bridegroom, he would rush back as soon as he could to recieve his bride. The father would be the judge of when his son had built an appropriate wedding chamber at his fathers house, hence, “only my father knows.” Then, romantically, when everything was ready, and with the bride waiting her grooms arrival at any time, always making sure she is ready to go, with oil in her lamp; the groom assembles his friends that will accompany him to go to the house of the bride in the middle of the night to “steal” her away. But before that, the bride got a warning, a loud shout was let out, so the bride would awaken and would be ready to go when her groom approaches her.

Anyways, look at the wedding in heaven in Revelations19, it happens before he comes back to rescue Israel. Why does Jesus prophesy about this wedding in heaven before he comes back to Earth? How does the church get to heaven before this event?

I have listened to John Marogottis(sp?) apologetics on the rapture, and he explains that there is some ancient custom about people in a city would go out to greet its leader or visitor and go back with him into the city. This might be true, but a whole gospel of Jesus was not based on this tradition, the jewish wedding custom was.

Go to here and scroll down to the bottom and watch The Miracle of Passover (Parts 1+2) for a refreshing way to look at the love Jesus has for his bride and also how the “rapture” relates to his coming back for his bride, the church. Especially watch part 2 for an explanation.



I’ve done some reading as well as listening to various preachers, but no out right books primarily because almsot all authors on the subject are after Darby, and therefore primed to teach it that way because that is how they understand it. That being said what would be some you would recommend. However, the question does still remain. Were there any teachings before Darby (and/or his cohorts) that indicate pre-trib rapture.

Using the bible is always good, however, the biblical reasons for pretrib is one interpretation that isn’t agreed upon even by protestantism. This gets back to the crux of the issue. Was there anyone prior to the 1800’s that taught pretrib.

While I appreciate your comments, your understanding of pretrib from the bible ultimately has its roots in Darby’s teachings and from what I have seen, not prior.

In Christ


Your answer is based on (1) ignorance and (2) prejudice. Ignorance in that you admit to having done only “some” reading, but yet list no books or authors. Prejudice because of your preconceived view of Darby.


Using the Word of God is always better than some commentary, in fact, it cant be be beat. Did the Bereans in Acts 17 get commended for looking up rabbinical wisdom while checking out Pauls testimony of Jesus? No, they checked the scriptures. You say this is my interpretation and it has its roots from Darby, well I never read a thing from the guy.

All pre-trib naysayers, whether some prot. denoms or catholics, do so because their belief is rooted in the fact the church is the new Israel. With this interpretation, prophecies concerning the regathering of Israel and the Messiah coming back to save her from AC and the nations get spirited away. With Israel out of prophecy, things like 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel gets squeezed into a church concept and so on.

Paul said in Romans 11 there is a remnant saved by grace, they are in the church. A remnant of what? A remnant of Israel.


He said in his lesson “THE LAST DAY!” many times. Again, with the interpretation of Israel out of prophecy, the “last day” or the “day of the Lord” gets squeezed in a single event in time, while prophecy in scripture says otherwise.


The Church is the New Israel, and Jews will be part of that Church by the End Times.


My entire Christian life was spent in a church that constantly emphasized the pre-Tribulation rapture of the Church, interpreting all scripture according to the Darby / C.I. Scofield pattern. However, during the past two years, I have been absolutely amazed at how the Scriptures, especially the N.T. and the Gospels, open up once this idea is rejected. As Jesus said, “THIS GENERATION (the generation He was speaking to) will not pass away, until all these things are fulfilled.”

And I think Pseudo-Ephraim was a little later–around A.D. 700?–but I could be wrong.

What truly amazes me is how much one’s views on Creation and on End-Times Prophecy are used as “litmus tests” to determine whether or not one is a “real” “Bible-believing” Christian. I know many people who actually would not listen to a minister on any subject if they knew he did not believe in the Rapture. “It’s obvious,” they say, “he doesn’t believe in the plain teaching of the Word of God.” :shrug:


Wow… Apop…

Who are you Mad at…

With respect, there is no need for name calling. Calling me ignorant and prejudice is pretty low don’t you think. I have studied the issue, jsut apparently not from those YOU agree with and therefore am ignorant.You seem to have over looked that I was willing to read what you have in mind. Besides, you are still side stepping the issue…

Who prior to 1800’s taught this. This is not an attack on Darby, this is trying to find who before those of his day taught it. That isn’t bigotry, it is searching for truth.

Now, if you are done with the insults, Who prior to Darby taught this?

Please remember Apop, Christ says do all things in Love. I see no love in your statement.

Lev, I appreciate you taking a more civil response. :slight_smile:

Yes I agree, the bible should always be held higher than commentaries. 100% in agreement. My argument is simply that your interpretation is still only an interpretation. One that is not agreed upon even in Protestantism. And also an interpretation that did not show up until the 1800. I tend to shy away from any interpretation that didn’t show up for 1800 years After his death. This is why I am digging deeper, Who prior to the 1800’s believed this.

This is not an attack on Darby or a preconceived notion of Darby. It is a search fro those prior to Darby. Please keep that in mind before making accusations.

In Christ


Dear Heisenburg: Since I don’t think you’ll be getting a direct answer to your question: No one taught it before the 1800s. Even people who believe in the Rapture will usually admit that the earlier teachings which sound Rapture-oriented are focused on Christ’s Second Coming, and can only be made to apply to the Rapture by “reading into” the earlier teachings doctrine which arose much later. Best, cpayne


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