Jovial (27 July 2014)
"Did Irenaeus Say there would be a rapture? "

At I commented on Irenaeus and what he may or may not have alluded to a rapture, with his comment in Book 5, Chapter 29 , which was

"Et propterea cum in fine repente hinc Ecclesia assumetur" "And therefore, when the end is suddenly here, the Church will be taken away."

Marylin asked, "How else would the church be taken away? "  I think there are other possible alternative interpretations such as;

It is possible that he was refering to a rapture too.  Irenaeus might have believed in a rapture. 

However, one reason most commentators don't quote Irenaeus as "proof" of a rapture is that he wasusing the language of Ezra, written before his time.

Some texts of Ezra say in chapter 5:1

"behold, the days shall come, that they which dwell upon earth shall be taken in a great number, and the way of truth shall be hidden, and the land shall be barren of faith

Other texts read...

"behold, the days shall come, that they which dwell upon earth shall be seized with great terror..."

The first version of Ezra 5:1 could refer to the police coming to take believers off to prison camps.  Or it could refer to a rapture.  It is hard to say from such a vague description.  The book of Ezra was cannonized as scripture by the Council of Carthage (349-419), and has always been in the Catholic publications of the Scriptures and is considered cannon by the Eastern Orthodox Church. But it has been rejected by most Protestant traditions.

But Irenaeus does not give us information lacking from Ezra about whatever event the "taking away" refers to.  If he had, that might be significant.  Since he did not, then Ezra would be the earliest source of this quote, not Irenaeus.  In either case, we do not have enough info to firmly say Irenaeus or Ezra were referring to someone's feet lifting off the ground and being gathered to the returning Messiah.  It COULD mean that.  It could mean something else.