Question Number 1150:

My question is pertaining to AMILLENIALISM view of the church, which was established in second ecumenical council. As I read Revelation 20, one can interpret the first 1000 years up to the schism in 1054, and the next 1000 up to the second coming what we are living in now. The fathers that discredited millenialism theory lived around 400 AD, so they had no idea that there would be a schism. How can it be a coincident that the schism happened in 1054 (1000 years after Christ). Why didnt any church father visit this after the schism? Was there not a strong church father because of constant war in the region? Is it unorthodox to make this interpretation of the history of the world, considering how the literal interpretation of 1000 years in this case does make sense.

ANSWER:

Amillenialism was not actually established at the Council of 381, please see:

http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/answer/4/

Regarding the main part of the question, no ecclesiastical authority has ever suggested that the millennium has anything to do with the period following the 1054.

The whole point of the amillenial reading of Revelation is that 1000 year is a symbolic period, and this is the wise conclusion of the Orthodox consensus based on centuries on reception and reflection of the text of Revelation since St John's vision on Patmos. See the EOB NT Introduction to the book of Revelation for a discussion of this position.

If one insists on a literal 1000 years (see link above), then the view espoused by Justin or Irenaeus would be the only one having any credibility.

Answered on 9/03/2011 by Fr Laurent

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Comments

  • Miklagard said on August 11, 2012:

    What about the Nestorian and Monophysite schisms in the 5th century. The Nestorian Church might be small now, but at one point it stretched from Syria in the West to China in the East, and had enormous influence. The so-called Monophysites(although I would say that they are essentially orthodox in their christology) at the time of that schism represented almost the entire Patriarchate of Alexandria, which included Ethiopia, half of Syria and Palestine, and the churches in the Caucasus. Large parts of the West were still Arian at the time, and so the Monophysites represented a HUGE proportion of Christians. Furthermore, although 1054 was the moment the patriarchs of Rome and Constantinople excommunicated eachother the schism was by no means finalised and complete until much later, and the events leading up to the schism had begun centuries before. The schism in 1054 was tragic and it's a wound desperately in need of healing, but it was by no means the first.

    Considering 1054 to be some kind of magical date, then, is one that takes a very superficial and West-centered view of Church history, and I can see no reason for using it as an argument for millennialism.

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