SIX THOUSAND YEARS
Early Christian writers held that at the end of 6,000 years of history, Christ would return and reign for 1,000 years (referred to as the Millennium). These included Barnabas (c. A.D. 100), Justin Martyr and Irenaeus (c. A.D. 150), Lactantius (c. A.D. 325), and Methodius, Bishop of Tyre (c. A.D. 300).
For example, Barnabas wrote:
As there have been 2,000 years from Adam to Abraham, and
2,000 from Abraham to Christ; so there will be
2,000 years for the Christian era and then would come the Millennium."
(Some believe the 2,000 years of the Christian era are not modern 365.24-day years, but prophetic, or "God-years" of 360 days each, beginning with the year of Christ's crucifixion, which scholars debate as from A.D. 30 to 33.
Church father Irenaeus wrote concerning a belief of the early church: "For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years; and in six days created things were completed; it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand years."
Lactantius, tutor of the son of the Roman Emperor Constantine, stated in his Book of Divine Institutes, Chapter 14: "Let the philosophers know that the six thousandth year is not yet completed; and when this number is completed, the consummation must take place."
Later, in A.D. 1552, Bishop Latimer wrote: "The world was ordained to endure, as all learned men affirm, 6,000 years. Now of that number, there be passed 5,552 years (as of A.D. 1552), so that there is no more left but 448 years (ending in A.D. 2000)."
Contributed by Chuck Sligh on Nov 5, 2017
A discussion based study of 1 Thess. 1:1-10