Rapture theology! dating!

I have consistently heard catholics calling rapture theolgy a 19th century invention
the following link is from St. ephraem the syrian from the early 4th century, I encourage you to read the whole book but more specifically the 14th chapter 4th paragraph
An orthodox web page I believe!

What are your thoughts?

It mentions a gathering of the elect. This is a common Biblical theme, found in the Old Testament, and does not indicate a rapture, which is different. Correct me if I am wrong, but according to rapture theology, the elect are not only gathered together but also, as if in a single instant and collectively, swept away to heaven while the unrighteous suffer apocalyptic torments.

Sorry Simon, but that would be “Pseudo Ephraim” a writing that actually does not teach the Rapture at all.

by Dave MacPherson.](“http://www.tribwatch.com/davemac.htm”)

Same page further down!

his time, they shall see the Son of man coming, no longer on the cross, but ‘in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.’ This time the sign of the cross is associated with manifest power and glory, as it was then associated with hidden power over the enemy when it was then regarded with shame and cursing. The sign of the Son of man appears here that their sins may be self condemned, their mourning here is an indication of self condemnation.

"Although the Lord comes openly, He still calls his elect by His angels in order to HONOR them in this way. The sound of the trumpet is for arousing, for gladness to manifest the amazing nature of the things then enacting.

“Here is a contrast between the ‘mourning tribes’ upon seeing the sign of the Son of man and the honor of the elect,** when they are gathered together, and the sound of the trumpet together with He Himself in the cloud which shall catch them.”** St. John Chrysostom.

This is from an orthodox web page NOT a Lahaye (liberty university) one and who is Dave Macpherson???
I beg to differ I see the rapture all over in this!

St Ephraim, upon whose writings Pseudo-Ephraim is supposedly based, did NOT believe in a pre-Trib rapture; and 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?


Yeah, but since when are you all that squared away?:rotfl: (j/k)

I don’t care where it’s from…and Dave Macpherson’s article makes a very good point.

You know Catholics don’t believe that rapture stuff, and it’s unbiblical to boot. The Rapture and the Bible and the Bible study notes.

Just read what the man says. He points out that those who see a rapture there are reading it into a single word…while ignoring and covering up the rest of Ephraim’s writings in which he says no such thing.

Furthermore, this document is considered apocryphal by most scholars and appears not to be authentically his.

Look at the rest of his verifiable writings. It’s just not there.

Yeah… the ECF is certainly not a trap most n-Cs want to go wandering around in. An objective compare & contrast between them and modern post reformation teachings will leave them questioning why they are not Catholic IMO.

in my opinion, one cannot claim to follow the rapture and sola scriptura at the same time. I think that the raptura is in a sence the achillies heel of sola scriptura. I remember a conversation that i had with a protestant once.

Me: Where is the rapture in the bible

Him: [begins quoting multiple verses that supposedly support his position]

Me: wait, wait wait, thoes verses don’t actaully say what you are trying to make them say. Can you quote for me a specific passage in scripture which gives us a detailed endtimes timeline beginning with the rapture of the faithfull? Where is that in the bible?

Him: You won’t find any specific passage that says that.

Me: So then why do you, a person who claims to go by the bible alone, believe in it?

Him: The reason why you can’t find the rapture in the bible is becuase you only read the bible, you don’t study it. By studying the book of revelation in depth you will find many passages which support rapture teaching.

Me: So basically what you are saying is that the rapture and the end times timeline arn’t explicitly stated in the bible but through study we can find many passages which support this believe implicitly?

Him: yes I would say that

Me: So whay is it ok for you to interpret the bible and find the rapture implicitly stated in scripture, but its wrong and unbiblical for me to find the immaculate conception and assumption implicitly stated in scripture?

He really didn’t ahve a resonce for that.

What’s interesting is that folks will believe the Rapture was taught by Pseudo-Ephraem (which is only ONE REFERENCE from the period between the 4th century and the 19th, when it surfaced again in the writings of John Darby) when they won’t believe distinctively Catholic teachings for which there is an abundance of support from the same era (and much earlier).

Why is it that evangelicals will believe this supposed doctrine, which had almost NO support before the 19th century, and yet they won’t accept the Catholic teachings regarding the Eucharist, infant baptism (which was also believed by John Calvin and Martin Luther), confession, ecclesial hierarchy of deacons, priests and bishops, authority of the bishop of Rome, etc.?

One good thing to remember is that neither the Catholic nor Orthodox Church believed in the Rapture, then or now. So, as far as this goes, it’'s a no go. Even assuming that it did come from St. Ephraim the Syrian, as one noted here it is a rather favourite Biblical theme that does not in any way taken to mean the Rapture. If there was already a Rapture theology back then, it would’ve been taught in both Churches now. It isn’t, and that’s where this wishful thinking of Evangelicals end.

Although there are several good ones out there now, the best catholic book (2003) I have read on this topic is David Currie’s
Rapture: The End-Times Error That Leaves the Bible Behind
It really answers all the questions with brilliance. Check out the reviews at amazon.

Let’s qualify this, and also get a clarification as to what the document allegedly teaches.

St Paul in his writings to the Thessalonians explicitely teaches a “rapture” if we define that word to mean “Jesus comes down from heaven, we fly up into the sky, and we all meet in the middle amidst the clouds.” Furthermore, the angels explicitely told the crowd on the Mount of Ascension that Jesus would return to Earth in the same way that he left.

No two ways about it. If we stop there, yes there will be a rapture, and it’s completely in line with the whole of Catholic teaching.

What John Darby did in the 1800s and what Tim LaHaye is doing today is expanding that there biblical definition of “rapture” to include by implication, if not directly, all sorts of other stuff events. I for one am not fooled by their non-canonical prophesies nor this here non-canonical prophesy of Ephraem.

I think that, in the scheme of things, what the Church teaches about rapture is not the same rapture that Evangelicals profess.

The problem with much “Rapture theology” isn’t the idea that the elect will be taken to Heaven when Christ returns. That’s pretty much a “Well, duh” moment.

The problem is that the “Left Behind” nonsense posits a Second Coming Part I, in which the elect are taken to Heaven while the non-elect are left on Earth, followed eventually by a Second Coming Part II in which the rest of the mess is sorted out. IOW, the problems are largely related to the pre-tribulational stuff, which is contrary to what the Bible actually says about the Second Coming.

– Mark L. Chance.

This thread is not about the theology, rather the dating of it!

“Anti-Christ and second advent” has more than 1 phrase as i’ve shown to back the theology up… What I find ironic is the attachment (pseudo) with NO proof on anyone’s part! The orthodox web page that posted this doesn’t even state this as (pseudo) :shrug:

Interestingly, the Orthodox don’t believe in the evangelical conception of the ‘rapture,’ either.

Terms and concepts must be defined here.

Rapture is not the same as pre-tribulational rapture. There are other theologies out there that are not pre-tribulational rapture. Furthermore, there are other theologies out there that do not use the term “rapture” but are like other theologies that do use the term.

When Catholics say that rapture theology is a 19th century invention, do they mean all rapture theologies or just the pre-tribulational one of say Left Behind?

As far as St. Ephraem goes, we must differentiate between rapture theologies? Is he teaching a rapture theology? Which one (or do we know)? Is the rapture theology he is teaching consistent with Catholicism.

The operative term being “I see”…


That link doesn’t work for me, but you quoted St. John Chrysostom saying “with He Himself in the cloud which shall catch them” as evidence, but St. John is just citing 1 Thes 4:17, no? He is not giving it the 19th century Rapture theory (or some of the other modern ones) to go along with it.

And is this the only reference you found? From the 4th century? If you are right and it is about the tradition of the Rapture going back to the 4th century…what happened to the discussion from the 4th to 19th century?

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