Required reading

Historical context

Theological themes

Intermediate state

Broadening scope of eschatology in Christianity

The resurrection of the body

Use of scripture

Stages and degrees of judgment and restoration


  1. How would Irenaeus answer the questions listed on the mid-course review?
  2. (Chapter 23) Was God lying when God told Adam that he would die the very day on which he ate the forbidden fruit?
  3. (Chapter 24) How does Irenaeus’ view of this world, the kingdoms of this world, and the Roman empire differ from that of the Apocalypse of John?
  4. (Chapter 25) What prerequisite for the coming of the Antichrist was assumed in Daniel and Paul, but by the time of Irenaeus would have made the reign of Antichrist a less immediate possibility?
  5. (Chapter 26) What heretics are mentioned by name in this chapter? What is the accusation against them?
  6. (Chapter 27) What is the punishment of the wicked? What is the degree of predestination?
  7. (Chapter 28) In what year will the world end? Roughly how soon would that have been for Irenaeus? Note the Urzeit–Endzeit typology.
  8. (Chapter 29) What interpretation does this chapter give for the number of the beast in Revelation 13 (666)?
  9. (Chapter 30) Does Irenaeus think 666 is the numerical value of the name of a person? A person in the past or present? What is the implication for imminent expectation?
  10. (Chapter 31) What does Irenaeus’ opponents think happens after death?
  11. (Chapter 31) What was Jesus doing for three days between death and resurrection?
  12. (Chapter 31) Where is Grandma?
  13. (Chapter 32) Besides all the bad things, what good things will take place before judgment day? When does the resurrection of the just take place? Can you picture a timeline of Irenaeus’ expectations?
  14. (Chapter 33) What are some of the promises Irenaeus expects to be fulfilled in the time between the resurrection and the judgment? What interpretations of “Wolves and lambs shall browse together” does Irenaeus know? Prefer?
  15. (Chapter 34) Despite a general aversion to allegorical interpretation, what equivalence does Irenaeus give to “sons of Abraham” and “priests and Levites”?
  16. (Chapter 35) Where does the coming of the antichrist fit in the chronology of the resurrection of the just, the era of earthly blessings, and judgment day?
  17. (Chapter 35) Is the lengthy quotation beginning, “Look around Jerusalem...” in your Bible?
  18. (Chapter 35) Is there a concept of purgatory in this chapter?
  19. (Chapter 36) What are the degrees of reward of the righteous? Is there mobility?

Also discussed by McDowell and Kirkland