Hill, Regnum caelorum

Hill, Charles E. Regnum caelorum: Patterns of Future Hope in Early Christianity. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992. xviii + 236 pp.

Hill, Charles E. Regnum Caelorum: Patterns of Millennial Thought in Early Christianity. , 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2001. xx + 324 pp.

In the first edition of his book, a revised dissertation, Charles Hill argues that chiliasm (premillennialism) was not in fact the only orthodox eschatological position of the early church. The amillennial position was present from the very beginning.

Hill argues that chiliasm was closely associated with a Jewish realistic-eschatological faith while amillennialism was associated with the belief that the dead went to heaven immediately.

In my opinion, Hill has written an important study, but, historically speaking, the chiliasts were not regarded as orthodox by the non-chiliasts, as far as I know. Neither is it clear to me that the concepts of “Jewish realistic eschatology” and amillennialism are diametrical opposites in every respect. Further research would be very helpful.

In any case, Hill’s study is very important and should be studied carefully.

More to follow later on the second edition that “updates and substantially expands Hill’s highly respected original work published by Oxford,” as the publisher states. See also the Table of Contents there.

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