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Martyrdom of Antipas

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  • Martyrdom of Antipas

    I could give a litany of reasons preterism is wrong and dangerous, but my chosen argument this day shall be the martyrdom of Antipas.

    Scripture Verse: Revelation 2

    12 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
    These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.

    © Copyright Original Source



    The circumstances of Antipas' martyrdom are not the only awkward facts for preterists in this verse. What does the Lord mean when He says that Satan's throne exists in a certain locality (Pergamum)? The obvious suggestion is the Pergamon Altar, associated with the Temple of Zeus.

    Though the Persians did not initially interfere in Babylon’s religious practices, the political power of the Babylonian priesthood (who were Chaldean magi) eventually became a problem. The temple had always been central to Babylonian life, with an entire culture and economy surrounding the Ziggurat of Marduk. As a result, the Chaldean priests were a powerful elite. They were often more powerful than the Babylonian king himself: the monarch had to acknowledge the priests’ intermediary role and “take the hands of Marduk” before assuming the throne. The king thus became the son of the god and was obliged to protect the religious hierarchy.
    The priests frustrated the Persians’ tolerance when, in an attempt to retain their behind-the-scenes political power, they installed one of their own, a priest posing as the king’s brother Smerdis, as ruler of Babylon. The imposter was discovered and killed by the Persians. Following a subsequent revolt when the priests again set up their own Babylonian ruler, the Persian king Xerxes came and destroyed Babylon in 487 BCE. In the process, he tore down the temples and removed the statue of Marduk.
    At this point, around 480 BCE, the Babylonian priests are thought to have left the city and reestablished their base elsewhere. According to one source, “the defeated Chaldeans fled to Asia Minor, and fixed their central college at Pergamos, and took the palladium of Babylon, the cubic stone, with them. Here, independent of state control, they carried on the rites of their religion” (William B. Barker, Lares and Penates: or, Cilicia and Its Governors, Ingram, Cooke and Co., London, 1853, pp. 232–233).


    So "Mystery Babylon", the pagan (Satanic) religion founded by Nimrod at Babel migrated from Babylon to Pergamum (and from thence to Imperial and finally Papal Rome, but that's another post), which is why the Lord Jesus called it "Satan's throne." This is all unintelligible if Revelation was written in the 60's AD and Christ knew Satan was to be bound within a few years. What would it matter where his throne was? Throne over what? A disintegrating kingdom? No, the Lord was speaking of that system which caused John astonishment when he saw its integration with the so-called "church" over the millennia before the Lord's return.


    But back to Antipas. Preterists try very hard to push back his martyrdom to the 60's under Nero, but there is no evidence that the persecution under Nero extended beyond the city of Rome itself: “There is no mention of any persecution outside the city of Rome, and therefore it is quite likely that this persecution, although exceedingly cruel, was limited to the capital of the Empire.” Gonzalez, Justo L. The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984. 35.


    Much more plausible is that Antipas was martyred as a result of his refusal to pay homage to the imperial cult of Rome, which portrayed the emperors as divine. While all of the emperors since Augustus had claimed divinity (and he had posthumously honored his patron uncle Julius with godhood), Domitian was far more grandiose with his airs and demanded to be addressed as Lord and God, titles which of course Christians would have refused to use.

    Unfortunately, the earliest, clearest account we have of Antipas' martyrdom is from Simeon Metaphrastes in the 10th century, but he appears to be quoting from a long, established tradition of Antipas' fate (assigning his death to the time of Domitian), referenced also by Andreas of Caesarea (6th century) and Tertullian (2nd century)!


    From Scorpiace, Chapter 12:
    Also to the angel of the church in Pergamus (mention was made) of Antipas, Revelation 2:13 the very faithful martyr, who was slain where Satan dwells. Also to the angel of the church in Philadelphia Revelation 3:10 (it was signified) that he who had not denied the name of the Lord was delivered from the last trial.


    It is said that Tertullian's allusion does not contain "independent information", but the claim that Antipas was "delivered from the last trial" indicates a clear knowledge of the circumstances cited by Metaphrastes, that Antipas was delivered from the pains of his execution (being roasted to death in a metal bull) so much that he was able to pray and give thanksgiving to the last, finally simply going to sleep...hardly the case if he were suffering from the unimaginable pain of such an execution!

    So since Antipas was clearly martyred in an empire wide persecution under Domitian, and the Lord Jesus provided this time text so we'd know that Revelation was written after 70 AD, why is anyone a preterist?

  • #2
    Classic case of picking and spinning the sources to support your thesis. 1853? Gonzalez, the worst and least scholarly history of Christianity I've had the displeasure of reading? Simon Metaphrastes, which you clearly use only because he happens to support your thesis on this particular point? Your argument is not nearly as persuasive as you imagine.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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    • #3
      Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
      Classic case of picking and spinning the sources to support your thesis. 1853? Gonzalez, the worst and least scholarly history of Christianity I've had the displeasure of reading? Simon Metaphrastes, which you clearly use only because he happens to support your thesis on this particular point? Your argument is not nearly as persuasive as you imagine.
      Seeing Hislop’s myth used is not encouraging - apart from anything else, there is no cuneiform evidence of any king, of Babylonia, or of Assyria, or of Sumer, or of any parts of these, named Nimrod. And there are hundreds of names of kings of these and other states. I think the name is a Jewish satirical distortion, for polemical purposes, of the name of the very important god Ninurta, famous as the Assyrian god of war. And “Nimrod” contains the consonants *m-r-d*, “to rebel”. IOW, Ninurta is being degraded to merely human status, and branded a “rebel” against the God of Israel. Be that as it may, no king named Nimrod is known to Ancient Mesopotomia.

      According to one source, “the defeated Chaldeans fled to Asia Minor, and fixed their central college at Pergamos, and took the palladium of Babylon, the cubic stone, with them. Here, independent of state control, they carried on the rites of their religion” (William B. Barker, Lares and Penates: or, Cilicia and Its Governors, Ingram, Cooke and Co., London, 1853, pp. 232–233).”

      See:
      https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...0them.&f=false

      No such stone is known to Babylonian history. It would be interesting to find what the “source” is.

      I’m inclined to the suggestion that Revelation was written in two or more parts, at widely different times. Much of what is said seems to favour a date during the Jewish War of 66-73, while parts seem to favour a Domitianic date (81-96). It really is a fascinating book - and a wonderful close to the Bible and the NT.
      Last edited by Rushing Jaws; 04-08-2019, 05:51 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
        Classic case of picking and spinning the sources to support your thesis. 1853? Gonzalez, the worst and least scholarly history of Christianity I've had the displeasure of reading? Simon Metaphrastes, which you clearly use only because he happens to support your thesis on this particular point? Your argument is not nearly as persuasive as you imagine.
        The point, which seems to have gone over your head, is that there is no contradictory tradition of Antipas dying under Nero. Nor does the evidence suggest it at all likely that he could have. My argument is as persuasive as the Spirit of God allows it to be.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Rushing Jaws View Post
          Seeing Hislop’s myth used is not encouraging - apart from anything else, there is no cuneiform evidence of any king, of Babylonia, or of Assyria, or of Sumer, or of any parts of these, named Nimrod. And there are hundreds of names of kings of these and other states. I think the name is a Jewish satirical distortion, for polemical purposes, of the name of the very important god Ninurta, famous as the Assyrian god of war. And “Nimrod” contains the consonants *m-r-d*, “to rebel”. IOW, Ninurta is being degraded to merely human status, and branded a “rebel” against the God of Israel. Be that as it may, no king named Nimrod is known to Ancient Mesopotomia.

          And we should care what you think why? Scripture says Nimrod existed, therefore he existed. You preterists need to stop putting yourselves in the place of God.

          No such stone is known to Babylonian history. It would be interesting to find what the “source” is.
          Scripture Verse:

          Acts 19:35
          NKJV - 35 And when the city clerk had quieted the crowd, he said: "Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple guardian of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Zeus?

          © Copyright Original Source




          Also known as the stone of Cybele and likely the black stone encased in the Kaaba.

          I’m inclined to the suggestion that Revelation was written in two or more parts, at widely different times. Much of what is said seems to favour a date during the Jewish War of 66-73, while parts seem to favour a Domitianic date (81-96). It really is a fascinating book - and a wonderful close to the Bible and the NT.
          The book purports to be written by one author. If that author was a liar, the book is worthless. Nearly as worthless as your opinions and claim to be a Christian, when you disregard the word of God in favor of your own opinions and desires. Preterist. Ha.

          Comment


          • #6
            A span of 30 years (earliest to latest estimates) would not preclude a single author.
            sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Darfius View Post
              I could give a litany of reasons preterism is wrong and dangerous, but my chosen argument this day shall be the martyrdom of Antipas.

              Scripture Verse: Revelation 2

              12 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
              These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.

              © Copyright Original Source



              So since Antipas was clearly martyred in an empire wide persecution under Domitian, and the Lord Jesus provided this time text so we'd know that Revelation was written after 70 AD, why is anyone a preterist?
              Hi Darfius,

              The martyrdom of Antipas in 92 A.D. would certainly rule out John writing the Book of Revelations prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and would undermine the Preterist claim that it was written in Nero's day. If Nero is not the antichrist, then it seems clear that the Futurist perspective of a future Jewish temple and its defilement by a future antichrist would seem correct after all.

              The following quote is from this website: http://www1.cbn.com/700club/seat-satan-ancient-pergamum

              "Renner describes the method of execution suffered by Antipas.

              'They would take the victim, place him inside the bull, and they would tie him in such a way that his head would go into the head of the bull. Then they would light a huge fire under the bull, and as the fire heated the bronze, the person inside of the bull would slowly begin to roast to death. As the victim would begin to moan and to cry out in pain, his cries would echo through the pipes in the head of the bull so it seemed to make the bull come alive.'

              Even in the midst of the flames, the elderly bishop Antipas died praying for his church. THE YEAR WAS AD 92.

              A few years later, the Apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation, mentioning the death of Antipas in Pergamum. Today, all that's left there is the foundation; the Altar of Zeus is more than a thousand miles away."

              All Preterist views are dependent on a 65 A.D. date for the writing of the book of Revelation in order to interpret its prophecies as having been fulfilled by the 70 A.D. destruction of Jerusalem, yet John couldn't have written of Antipas' death in the past tense 30 years before he died. The only way I can see Preterists salvaging their perspective is if they can provide documentation to prove Antipas died prior to 92 A.D.
              Last edited by xcav8tor; 04-10-2019, 12:53 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by xcav8tor View Post
                Hi Darfius,

                The martyrdom of Antipas in 92 A.D. would certainly rule out John writing the Book of Revelations prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and would undermine the Preterist claim that it was written in Nero's day. If Nero is not the antichrist, then it seems clear that the Futurist perspective of a future Jewish temple and its defilement by a future antichrist would seem correct after all.

                The following quote is from this website: http://www1.cbn.com/700club/seat-satan-ancient-pergamum

                "Renner describes the method of execution suffered by Antipas.

                'They would take the victim, place him inside the bull, and they would tie him in such a way that his head would go into the head of the bull. Then they would light a huge fire under the bull, and as the fire heated the bronze, the person inside of the bull would slowly begin to roast to death. As the victim would begin to moan and to cry out in pain, his cries would echo through the pipes in the head of the bull so it seemed to make the bull come alive.'

                Even in the midst of the flames, the elderly bishop Antipas died praying for his church. THE YEAR WAS AD 92.

                A few years later, the Apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation, mentioning the death of Antipas in Pergamum. Today, all that's left there is the foundation; the Altar of Zeus is more than a thousand miles away."

                All Preterist views are dependent on a 65 A.D. date for the writing of the book of Revelation in order to interpret its prophecies as having been fulfilled by the 70 A.D. destruction of Jerusalem, yet John couldn't have written of Antipas' death in the past tense 30 years before he died. The only way I can see Preterists salvaging their perspective is if they can provide documentation to prove Antipas died prior to 92 A.D.
                According to this website of the Orthodox Church, the date was +/- 68 AD hardly a death nail to Preterism.

                https://oca.org/saints/lives/2013/04...ciple-of-st-jo
                Last edited by Littlejoe; 04-10-2019, 02:48 PM.
                "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
                  According to this website of the Orthodox Church, the date was +/- 68 AD

                  https://oca.org/saints/lives/2013/04...ciple-of-st-jo
                  Looking at the wikipedia (I know... ) article about Antipas of Pergamum it says according to Christian tradition he was ordained bishop during Domitians reign (81-96), but died during the reign of Nero (54-68).

                  So, either wikipedia is wrong (big surprise), or Christian tradition teaches that Antipas was ordained bishop after his own death.

                  Not really intending to add anything meaningful to the conversation with this, just thought it was a bit funny.
                  ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
                    Looking at the wikipedia (I know... ) article about Antipas of Pergamum it says according to Christian tradition he was ordained bishop during Domitians reign (81-96), but died during the reign of Nero (54-68).

                    So, either wikipedia is wrong (big surprise), or Christian tradition teaches that Antipas was ordained bishop after his own death.

                    Not really intending to add anything meaningful to the conversation with this, just thought it was a bit funny.
                    Yeah, I saw that too! I don't think both of those are possible...

                    I think they might have meant he was made a Saint during Domitians reign, (which would make more sense at least.)
                    Last edited by Littlejoe; 04-10-2019, 03:53 PM.
                    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
                      Yeah, I saw that too! I don't think both of those are possible...

                      I think they might have meant he was mad a Saint during Domitians reign, (which would make more sense at least.)
                      I'm more inclined to believe who ever edited the article just researched/looked for two different accounts/traditions and haphazardly cobbled them together without bothering to check if they were in harmony with each other.
                      ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
                        According to this website of the Orthodox Church, the date was +/- 68 AD hardly a death nail to Preterism.

                        https://oca.org/saints/lives/2013/04...ciple-of-st-jo
                        Hi Littlejoe,

                        According to this guy, Alaharasan, V. Antony J. (2009). From Patmos to Paradise : John's vision of heaven. New York: Paulist Press. p. 40. ISBN 9780809145898, page 40:

                        "Faced with the errors of Balaam, the heathen prophet of the Old Testament, and the Nicolations, who sought to undercut true faith, the Christians were asked to emulate the courageous, faithful witness of Antipas. According to Christian tradition, St. John ordained Antipas as bishop of Pergamum during the reign of the Roman emperor, Domitian. The traditional account reports that Antipas was martyred in 92 AD by burning in a brazen bull-shaped altar used for casting out demons by the local population."

                        So he also agrees with Renner from the CBN link I shared.

                        As Chrawus points out, Wikidedia is no help, having Antipas ordained after his own death.

                        According to the Orthodox Church source you offered, he died in 68, but according to this Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America site (https://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints?contentid=15), Antipas died:

                        "Saint Antipas was a contemporary of the holy Apostles, by whom he was made Bishop of Pergamum. He contested during the reign of Domitian, when he was cast, as it is said, into a bronze bull that had been heated exceedingly. The Evangelist John writes of him in the Book of Revelation, and says (as it were from the mouth of Christ, Who says to the Angel [that is, the Bishop] of the Church of Pergamum): "I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is; and thou holdest fast My Name, and hast not denied My Faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful Martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth" (Rev. 2:13). The faithful pray to this Saint for ailments of the teeth."

                        So who is right? My 3 sources or yours? The traditional date for the writing of the Revelation is around 95 A.D. (Says, Irenaeus: “For that [the apocalyptic vision] was seen not a very long time since, but almost in our own day, toward the end of Domitian’s reign” and Domitian’s reign occurred during the years of A.D 81-96. The church fathers Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Victorinus, Eusebius, and Jerome also affirm that Revelation was written during Domitian’s reign). The death of Antipas in 92 A.D. fits hand in glove with that estimate, but like most things, it appears there is always some room for doubt for those who need it.
                        Last edited by xcav8tor; 04-10-2019, 04:39 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Orthodox are as opposed to futurism as the Catholics, because it undermines their power. They provided no evidence for a 60's AD date. And "ordination" (as a saint) didn't exist in the 1st century, so your special pleading is showing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Darfius View Post
                            The Orthodox are as opposed to futurism as the Catholics, because it undermines their power. They provided no evidence for a 60's AD date. And "ordination" (as a saint) didn't exist in the 1st century, so your special pleading is showing.
                            😳 I think you have some posts garbled together...ordination and sainthood are separate processes.
                            Watch your links! http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/fa...corumetiquette

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DesertBerean View Post
                              😳 I think you have some posts garbled together...ordination and sainthood are separate processes.
                              Nope, you can be ordained a saint, or a lawyer or a doctor or anything really. The point, which you didn't bother responding to, presumably because you couldn't, is that no one was being declared a saint in the 1st century, so the only ordination that could have been meant in the traditions was Antipas being made overseer of Pergamum by John. See if you can find any more hairs to split.

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