The first is the advanced stage of development of this, the Neronic-Antichrist legend.
To the conservatives, known subsequently as Old Ritualists or Old Believers, this marked the beginning of the reign of Antichrist (was not 666 the number of the Beast?); but they continued the struggle, conservative opposition to the Westernizing policy of the tsars, which was held responsible for the introduction of Polish luxury and Latin heresy, giving it a political as well as a religious character.
The cruel persecutions instituted by the authorities with a view to securing conformity increased the number and fanaticism of the schismatics and heretics, and created among them a widespread belief that the reign of Antichrist, foretold in the Apocalypse, was at hand.
To the latter belong views of the Antichrist, of the heathen worldpower, of the place, extent, and duration of the earthly kingdom of Christ, &c. These remained in a state of solution; they were modified from day to day, partly because of the changing circumstances of the present by which forecasts of the future were regulated, partly because the indications - real or supposed - of the ancient prophets always admitted of new combinations and constructions.
They still believe, as John did, in the return of Nero as the Antichrist; they still expect that after the first resurrection Christ will reign with his saints "in the flesh" for a thousand years.
If the church, and not the state, was regarded as Babylon, and the pope declared to be the Antichrist, these were legitimate inferences from the ancient traditions and the actual position of the church.
Or Boniface VII., "monsters, as they were, of more than human iniquity" - anything else than "Antichrist sitting in the temple of God and showing himself as God"?
The manifestation of evil culminates in the Antichrist whose parusia (2 Thess.
But the climax of evil is the immediate herald of its destruction; for thereupon Christ will descend from heaven and destroy the Antichrist (ii.
Newton and Dr Samuel Clarke is laid open, 1732; Glory or Gravity, 1733; The Religion of Satan, or Antichrist Delineated, 1736.
Adopted by the Protestant reformers, who could justify their identification of the papacy with the Antichrist from books written within the Roman communion.
Throughout these later commentaries a strong antipapal interest which identified the pope with the Antichrist holds a central place - a doctrine which, as we have seen, goes back historically to the immediate disciples of Joachim and like-minded Franciscans.
Bousset has shown with much probability that it is part of the Antichrist legend.
13, appears to be an independent development of the Antichrist legend.
Of the later stage, when the myth of Nero redivivus was fused with that of the Antichrist, we have attestation in xvii.
(d) The Antichrist legend.
We find at least two stages of the Neronic and Antichrist myth in the Apocalypse.
8, 12-14, we have a later phase of the myth, in which there is a fusion of the Antichrist myth with that of Nero redivivus.
8 the reference to Nero redivivus as the Antichrist is manifest: "The beast that thou sawest was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go into perdition."
For every one who shall not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is antichrist; and whosoever shall not confess the testimony of the Cross is of the devil; and whosoever shall pervert the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts and say that there is neither resurrection nor judgment, that man is the first-born of Satan.
8 Against this 1 Antichrist (1873), p. 207.2 Zeitschr.
He had spoken disrespectfully of the church, it was said, had even hinted that Antichrist might be found to be in Rome, had fomented in his preaching the quarrel between Bohemians and Germans, and had, notwithstanding all that had passed, continued to speak of Wycliffe as both a pious man and an orthodox teacher.
Of the dogmatic works, that on Christ and Antichrist survives in a complete state.
The task is one of extraordinary difficulty, for the textual problems of the various writings are complex and confused: the Greek original is extant in a few cases only (the Commentary on Daniel, the Refutation, on Antichrist, parts of the Chronicle, and some fragments); for the rest we are dependent on fragments of translations, chiefly Slavonic, all of which are not even published.
Of the Academy's edition one volume was published at Berlin in 1897, containing the Commentaries on Daniel and on the Song of Songs, the treatise on Antichrist, and the Lesser Exegetical and Homiletic Works, edited by Nathanael Bonwetsch and Hans Achelis.
170); Henri d'Arci's life of St Thais, poem on the Antichrist, Visio S.
18), the Antichrist that cometh (ii.
Expected that the Church would be assailed by Antichrist; a visible return of Christ he did not teach, but he recognized that human history would issue in a separation of the good from the bad.
The primitive Christian eschatology was preserved in the West as it was not in the East, and in times of exceptional distress the expectation of Antichrist emerged again and again.
Anglicanism was a limb of Antichrist; extempore prayers were regarded as inspired: a liturgy was " a Mass-book."
The earliest mention of the name Antichrist, which was probably first coined in Christian eschatological literature, is in the Epistles of St John (I.
The historical figure who served as a model for the "Antichrist" was Antiochus IV.
4, where the rivers of Belial are spoken of, originally a god of the underworld), a name which also plays a part in the Antichrist tradition.
This conception of the strife of God with the devil was further interwoven, before its introduction into the Antichrist myth, with another idea of different origin, namely, the myth derived from the Babylonian religion, of the battle of the supreme God (Marduk) with the dragon of chaos (Tiamat), originally a myth of the origin of things which, later perhaps, was changed into an eschatological one, again under Iranian influence?
Now it is possible that the whole conception of Antichrist has its final roots in this already complicated myth, that the form of the mighty adversary of God is but the equivalent in human form of the devil or of the dragon of chaos.
Finally, it must be mentioned that Antichrist receives, at least in the later sources, the name originally proper to the devil himself.3 From the Jews, Christianity took over the idea.
But Antichrist here appears as a tempter, who works by signs and wonders (ii.
S The idea that Antichrist was to establish himself in the temple of Jerusalem (ii.
Still retards the revelation of Antichrist (2 Thess.
And while the originally Jewish idea led straight to the conception, set forth in Revelation, of the Roman empire or its ruler as Antichrist, here, on the contrary, it is probably the Roman empire that is the power which still retards the reign of Antichrist.
This version of the figure of Antichrist, who may now really for the first time be described by this name, appears to have been at once widely accepted in Christendom.
The idea that the Jews would believe in Antichrist, as punishment for not having believed in the true Christ, seems to be expressed by the author of the fourth gospel (v.