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Christian Eschatology
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The Rapture is the gathering together of all Christians on earth at the time of the return of Jesus Christ. Belief in the rapture as a prophesied future event is found primarily among Non-Confessional Protestant groups. The primary passage used to support this idea is 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, in which Paul cites "the word of the Lord" about the return of Jesus to gather his saints.

...and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.

There are two primary views among Christian denominations regarding the nature of Christ's return:

  1. Dispensationalist Premillennialists (such as many Evangelicals, especially in the United States) hold the return of Christ to be in two stages. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 is seen to be a preliminary event to the return described in Matthew 24:29-31. Although both describe a return of Jesus in the clouds with angelic activity, trumpets, heavenly signs, and a gathering of the saints, these are seen to be two separate events. The first event is to be unseen, the rapture proper, when the saved are prophesied to be 'caught up,' from whence the term rapture is taken. The 'second coming' is the public event when Christ's presence is prophesied to be clearly seen as he returns to end Armageddon. The majority of dispensationalists hold that the first event immediately precedes the period of Tribulation. (See chart for additional Dispensationalist timing views);
  2. Amillennialists (such as Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans and others), Postmillennialists (such as some Presbyterians, and others), and Historic Premillennialists (such as Calvinistic Baptists, and others) hold that the return of Christ will be a single, public event. All passages regarding the return of Christ, such as Matthew 24:29-31, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, Revelation 1:7, etc, describe the return of Jesus in the clouds amidst trumpets, angelic activity, heavenly signs, a resurrection, and a gathering of saints. Although some (such as some Amillennialists) take this event to be figurative, rather than literal, these three groups maintain that passages regarding the return of Christ describe a single event, and that the "word of the Lord" cited by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 is the Olivet Discourse which Matthew separately describes in Matthew 24:29-31. Although the doctrinal relationship of the rapture and the Second Coming are the same in these three groups, Historic Premillennialists are more likely to use the term "rapture" to clarify their position in distinction from Dispensationalists.



"Rapture", in the context of eschatology, is an English word derived from the Latin rapio, "caught up" [1] as found in the Vulgate rendering of 1 Thessalonians 4:17.[2][3]

The Oxford English Dictionary provides two pages describing the history of usage of the word in English. From the 17th century onwards, the word is attested as rapture with similar senses to the older form rapt. The OED provides the etymology as from Latin rapere: to seize, especially abduct; it likens the words capture and rapture. Of particular note are the various distinctions involving either literal or figurative transport of body or emotions to heaven or from one place to another on earth.[4]

  • a 1400: Þe visions of seynt poul wan he was rapt into paradys. – Vernon manuscript[5]
  • 1412-20: In this wyse were the brethren twayne To heauen rapt, as thes poetes fayne. – John Lydgate, Chronicle of Troy[6]
  • 1432-50: Helyas was rapte in this tyme. – Ranulf Higden, Polychronicon[7]
  • 1526: Whan he was rapt & taken vp in to the thyrde heuen. – William Bond, Pilgrim of Perfection[8]
  • 1610: To this place … were Enoch, Elias and Paul rapt up fore their deaths. – John Guillim, Display of Heraldry [9]
  • 1667: Rapt in a Chariot drawn by fiery Steeds. – John Milton, Paradise Lost[10]
  • 1866: He was rapt up on high and saw S. Peter. – Charles Kingsley, Hereward the Wake[11]

Doctrinal history

The concept of the rapture, in connection with premillennialism, was expressed by the American Puritan father and son Increase and Cotton Mather. They held to the idea that believers would be caught up in the air, followed by judgments on the earth and then the millennium.[12][13] The term rapture was used by Philip Doddridge (1738) and John Gill (1748) in their New Testament commentaries, with the idea that believers would be caught up prior to judgment on the earth and Jesus' Second Coming. The concept of a pre-tribulation rapture was articulated by Baptist Morgan Edwards in an essay published in 1788 in Philadelphia.[14]

Although not using the term rapture, the idea was more fully developed by Scottish minister, Edward Irving (1792-1834). In 1825[15] Irving directed his attention to the study of prophecy and eventually accepted the one-man Antichrist idea of James Henthorn Todd, Samuel Roffey Maitland, Robert Bellarmine, and Francisco Ribera, yet he went a step further. Irving began to teach the idea of a two-phase return of Christ, the first phase being a secret rapture prior to the rise of the Antichrist. According to Irving, “There are three gatherings: – First, of the first-fruits of the harvest, the wise virgins who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth; next, the abundant harvest gathered afterwards by God; and lastly, the assembling of the wicked for punishment.”[16] (Where Irving got this idea is a matter of much dispute.)

Dr. Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, a respected theologian and biblical scholar, who lived during the rapid growth in popularity of the "secret rapture" teaching, wrote a pamphlet[17] which traces the concept of rapture through John N. Darby back to Edward Irving.

John Nelson Darby, considered the father of dispensationalism, first proposed the pre-tribulation rapture in 1827.[18] This view was accepted among many other Plymouth Brethren in England. Darby and other prominent Brethren were part of the Brethren Movement which impacted American Christianity, primarily through their writings. Influences included the Bible Conference Movement, starting in 1878 with the Niagara Bible Conference. These conferences, which were initially inclusive of historicist and futurist premillennialism, led to an increasing acceptance of futurist premillennial views and the pre-tribulation rapture especially among Presbyterian, Baptist and Congregational members.[19] Popular books also contributed to acceptance of the pre-tribulation rapture, including William Eugene Blackstone's book Jesus is Coming published in 1878 and which sold more than 1.3 million copies, and the Scofield Reference Bible, published in 1909 and 1919 and revised in 1967.

The Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox churches, the Anglican Communion, as well as most Protestant Calvinist denominations have no tradition of a preliminary return of Christ and reject the doctrine, in part because they cannot find any reference to it among any of the early Church fathers and find its biblical foundation weak, and because of their rejection of the 19th-century concept of dispensationalism.[20] Some also reject it because they interpret prophetic scriptures in either an amillennial or postmillennial fashion.

Proponents of a preliminary rapture believe the doctrine of amillennialism originated with Alexandrian scholars such as Clement and Origen[21] and was later brought wholly into Roman Catholic dogma by Augustine.[22] Thus, the church until then held to premillennial views, which see an impending apocalypse from which the church will be rescued after being raptured by the Lord. This is even extrapolated by some to mean that the early church espoused pre-tribulationism.[citation needed]

Some Pre-Tribulation proponents maintain that the earliest known extra-Biblical reference to the "Pre-Tribulation" rapture is from a sermon falsely attributed to the fourth-century Church Father Ephraem the Syrian, which says, "For all the saints and Elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins."[23][24] However, the interpretation of this writing, as supporting Pre-Tribulation rapture, is debated.[citation needed][25]

There exist at least one 18th century and two 19th century Pre-Tribulation references, in a book published in 1788, in the writings of a Catholic priest Emmanuel Lacunza[26] in 1812, and by John Nelson Darby himself in 1827.[27] However, both the book published in 1788 and the writings of Lacunza have opposing views regarding their interpretations.

The rise in belief in the "Pre-Tribulation" rapture is often wrongly attributed to a 15-year old Scottish-Irish girl named Margaret McDonald (a follower of Edward Irving), who in 1830 had a vision of the end times which describes a post-tribulation view of the Rapture that was first published in 1840. It was published again in 1861 but two important sentences demonstrating post-tribulation were removed to encourage confusion concerning the timing of the Rapture. The two removed sentences were, "This is the fiery trial which is to try us. - It will be for the purging and purifying of the real members of the body of Jesus" and "The trial of the Church is from Antichrist. It is by being filled with the Spirit that we shall be kept".[28]

The popularization of the term is associated with the teaching of John Nelson Darby, prominent among the Plymouth Brethren, and the rise of premillennialism and dispensationalism in English-speaking churches at the end of the 19th century. In 1908, the doctrine of the rapture was further popularized by an evangelist named William Eugene Blackstone, whose book, Jesus is Coming, sold more than one million copies. The first known theological use of the word "rapture" in print occurs with the Scofield Reference Bible of 1909.[29]

In 1957, John Walvoord, a theologian at Dallas Theological Seminary, authored a book,The Rapture Question, that gave theological support to the Pre-Tribulation rapture; this book eventually sold over 65,000 copies. In 1958, J. Dwight Pentecost authored another book supporting the Pre-Tribulation rapture, Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology, which sold 215,000 copies.

During the 1970s, the rapture became popular in wider circles, in part due to the books of Hal Lindsey, including The Late Great Planet Earth, which has reportedly sold between 15 million and 35 million copies, and by the movie A Thief in the Night, which based its title on the scriptural reference 1 Thessalonians 5:2.[30] Lindsey proclaimed that the rapture was imminent, based on world conditions at the time. The Cold War and the European Economic Community figured prominently in his predictions of impending Armageddon. Other aspects of 1970s global politics were seen as having been predicted in the Bible. Lindsey suggested, for example, that the seven-headed beast with ten horns, cited in the Book of Revelation, was the European Economic Community, a forebear of the European Union, which at the time aspired to ten nations; it now has 27 member states.

In 1995, the doctrine of the Pre-Tribulation rapture was further popularized by Tim LaHaye's Left Behind book series, which sold tens of millions of copies and was made into several movies.

The doctrine of the rapture continues to be an important component in American fundamentalist Christian eschatology today.

Scriptural basis

The following New Testament verses are often used to support the teaching about the rapture.

1 Thessalonians 4:15–17 "15] For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. [16] For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

John 14:2–3 "2] In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. [3] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Philippians 3:20-21 "20] For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: [21] Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

1 Corinthians 15:49–55 "49] And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. [50] Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. [51] Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [53] For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. [54] So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. [55] O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

2 Thessalonians 2:1-7 "1] Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, [2] That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. [3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; [4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. [5] Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? [6] And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. [7] For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

Matthew 24:36-41 "36] But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. [37] But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. [38] For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, [39] And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. [40] Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. [41] Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left."


Comparison of Christian tribulation views

In the amillennial and postmillennial views, as well as in the post-tribulation premillennial position, there are no distinctions in the timing of the rapture. These views regard the rapture as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 as either identical to the second coming of Jesus as described in Matthew 24:29-31, or as a meeting in the air with Jesus that immediately precedes his second coming to the earth. Within premillennialism, the pre-tribulation position is the predominant view that distinguishes between the rapture and second coming as two events. There are also two minor positions within premillennialism that differ with regard to the timing of the rapture, the mid-tribulation view and the partial rapture view.[31]


The pretribulation position advocates that the rapture will occur before the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation period, while the second coming will occur at the end of the seven-year Tribulation period. Pre-tribulationists often describe the rapture as Jesus coming for the church and the second coming as Jesus coming with the church. Pre-tribulation teachers and preachers include J. Dwight Pentecost, Tim LaHaye, J. Vernon McGee, Chuck Smith, Chuck Missler, Jack Van Impe, Grant Jeffrey, and David Jeremiah [32]. While many pre-tribulationists are also dispensationalists, not all pre-tribulationists are dispensationalists.[33]


The midtribulation position espouses that the rapture will occur at some point in the middle of the Tribulation period. The Tribulation is typically divided into two periods of 3.5 years each. Mid-tribulationists hold that the saints will go through the first period but will be raptured into heaven before the severe outpouring of God's wrath in the second half of the Tribulation. Mid-tribulationists appeal to Daniel 7:25 which says the saints will be given over to tribulation for "time, times, and half a time," - interpreted to mean 3.5 years. At the halfway point of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will commit the "abomination of desolation" by desecrating the Jerusalem temple (to be built on what is now called the Temple Mount). Mid-tribulationist teachers include Harold Ockenga, James Buswell and Norman Harrison.[34] This position is a minority view among premillennialists[35].


The prewrath rapture view also places the rapture at some point during the Tribulation period before the second coming. This view holds that the tribulation of the church begins toward the latter part of the seven-year period, being Daniel's 70th week, when the Antichrist is revealed in the temple. This latter half of the seven-year period is defined as the great Tribulation, although the exact duration is not known. References from Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 are used as evidence that this tribulation will be cut short by the coming of Christ to deliver the righteous by means of rapture, which will occur after specific events in Revelation, in particular after the sixth seal is opened and the sun is darkened and the moon is turned to blood.[36] However, by this point many Christians will have been slaughtered as martyrs by the Antichrist. After the rapture comes God's seventh-seal wrath of trumpets and bowls (a.k.a. "the Day of the Lord"). The Day of the Lord's wrath against the ungodly will follow for the remainder of the seven years.[37] Marvin Rosenthal who wrote the book, "The Prewrath Rapture of the Church" is a primary proponent for the prewrath rapture view.[citation needed] His belief is founded on the work of Robert D. Van Kampen (1938–1999); his books "The Sign", "The Rapture Question Answered" and "The Fourth Reich" detail his pre-wrath rapture doctrine.


The partial rapture view holds to multiple raptures of believers at the beginning and during the seven year Tribulation period.[38] The term "partial" refers to the idea that only some Christians will be raptured at a time. This is in contrast to other rapture views which hold all Christians would be raptured in a single event. The criteria for who would be raptured are those who will be faithful and watchful. In this view, the rapture is in essence a reward to the faithful.[39] The writers for this view interpret certain eschatology parables as revealing the partial rapture, such as the parable of the ten virgins. All ten virgins are seen as genuine believers, in which the five who were prepared are taken while the others are left. Advocates for this view include Robert Govett (1813–1901) and George Lang.[40]


The posttribulation position places the rapture at the end of a tribulation period. Post-tribulation writers define the tribulation period in a generic sense as the entire present age, or in a specific sense of a period of time preceding the second coming of Christ.[41] The emphasis in this view is that the church will undergo the Tribulation - even though the church will be spared the wrath of God.[42] Matthew 24:29–31; "Immediately after the tribulation of those days…they shall gather together his elect…", is cited as a foundational scripture for this view. Post-tribulationists perceive the rapture as occurring simultaneously with the second coming of Christ. Upon Jesus' return, believers will meet him in the air and will then accompany him in his return to the earth. Authors and teachers who support the post-tribulational view include Pat Robertson, Walter R. Martin, John Piper, George E. Ladd[43], Robert H. Gundry[44], and Douglas Moo.

Date setting

Poster in Kendall Sq., Cambridge, Massachusetts

Generally, believers in the rapture of the church no longer make predictions regarding the exact timing of the event itself.[citation needed] The primary scripture reference cited for this position is Matthew 24:36, where Jesus is quoted saying; "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only" (RSV).

Any individual or religious group that has dogmatically predicted the day of the rapture, referred to as "date setting", has been thoroughly embarrassed and discredited, as the predicted date of fulfillment came and went without event.[45][46] Some of these individuals and groups have offered excuses and "corrected" target dates, while others have simply released a reinterpretation of the meaning of the scripture to fit their current predicament, and then explained that although the prediction appeared to have not come true, in reality it had been completely accurate and fulfilled, albeit in a different way than many had expected. Conversely, many of those who believe that the precise date of the rapture cannot be known, do affirm that the specific time frame that immediately precedes the rapture event can be known. This time frame is often referred to as "the season". The primary section of scripture cited for this position is Matthew 24:32-35; where Jesus is quoted teaching the parable of the fig tree, which is proposed as the key that unlocks the understanding of the general timing of the rapture, as well as the surrounding prophecies listed in the sections of scripture that precede and follow this parable.

Some notable rapture predictions include the following:

  • 1792 - Shakers calculated this date.[citation needed]
  • 1844 - William Miller predicted Christ would return between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844, then revised his prediction, claiming to have miscalculated Scripture, to October 22, 1844. The result of their being no second coming was referred to as the Great Disappointment. Miller's theology gave rise to the Advent movement.
  • 1977 - William M. Branham predicted in 1962 that the Rapture could take place by 1977[citation needed]
  • 1981 - Chuck Smith predicted that Jesus would probably return by 1981.[47]
  • 1988 - Publication of 88 Reasons why the Rapture is in 1988, by Edgar C. Whisenant.
  • 1989 - Publication of The final shout: Rapture report 1989, by Edgar Whisenant. More predictions by this author appeared for 1992, 1995, and other years.
  • 1992 - Korean group "Mission for the Coming Days" predicted October 28, 1992 as the date for the rapture.[48]
  • 1993 - Seven years before the year 2000. The rapture would have to start to allow for seven years of the Tribulation before the Return in 2000. Multiple predictions.
  • 1994 - Pastor John Hinkle of Christ Church in Los Angeles predicted June 9, 1994. Radio evangelist Harold Camping predicted September 27, 1994.[49]
  • 2011 - Harold Camping's revised prediction has May 21, 2011 as the date of the rapture.[50]
  • 2060 - Sir Isaac Newton proposed, based upon his calculations using figures from the book of Daniel, that the Apocalypse could happen no earlier than 2060.[51][52]

Cultural references



  • The first full-fledged rapture movie was A Thief in the Night. That film was followed by three sequels and a novel, and set up the genre of the rapture film. With only a few exceptions the genre died out by the end of the 1970s only to resurface again in the 1990s with such films as Apocalypse, Revelation, The Rapture, Left Behind: The Movie, and The Omega Code. Cloud Ten Pictures specializes in making end-time films.


  • In 1950, the novel Raptured by Ernest Angley was published, based on the accounts foretold in the books of Daniel and Revelation. The novel focuses on a man whose mother is raptured along with other Christians, while he is left behind in the tribulation period.[53]
  • Robert Heinlein's 1984 book, Job: A Comedy of Justice described the troubles of a Christian man called Alex, who is moved from parallel world to parallel world, accompanied by his lover Margrethe. Halfway through the book, the Rapture occurs and Alex is taken up, but Margrethe is left behind because she is a pagan. The rest of the book describes Alex's attempts to bypass the rules and save his true love.
  • In 1995, Left Behind was published. The rapture is a major component of the premise of the book and its various spin-offs. The plot of the book was used as a basis for a 2000 movie and a 2006 video game.
  • In Mark E. Rogers' book The Dead, published in 2001, those chosen for salvation disappear in a blinding flash of light. It is possible for people who have been left behind to redeem themselves in the eyes of God; those who do are immediately raptured. Sacrificing oneself to help others is one way of being redeemed. Some characters are actually under attack by reanimated corpses, or by Legion himself, at the time of their rapture. The blinding flash of light totally disorients the corpses who witness it, rendering them incapable of any action at all for a short time. The humans are literally "caught up" "in an instant" by God.


  • At the height of the Jesus Movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the rapture figured prominently in popular songs by secular artists, such as "Are You Ready?" by Pacific Gas & Electric (#14 in August 1970). Also at that time, the song "I Wish We'd All Been Ready" was written and performed by Larry Norman, one of the founders of the nascent "Jesus Rock" movement in the early 70s.
  • Other examples of apocalyptic themes like the rapture, the Anti-Christ, Armageddon and The Second Coming of Christ in Norman's writing are: "U.F.O." from the 1976 album "In Another Land", Six Sixty Six" from the same album and "Messiah" from Stop This Flight.
  • Examples of apocalyptic themes in Bob Dylan's writing are "When He Returns" from the 1979 album Slow Train Coming and - quoting 1 Corinthians 15:49–55 - Ye Shall Be Changed, released on The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3: Rare And Unreleased, 1961-1991.
  • Other songs about the Christian end times include "Goin' by the Book", "The Man Comes Around" by Johnny Cash, from the album American IV: The Man Comes Around, released in 2002, and "Tribulation" by Charlie Daniels. Noel Gallagher also refers to the rapture twice on the Oasis album Dig Out Your Soul, first on "The Turning" ("Then come on, when the Rapture takes me, Will you be by my side?") and also on the following track "Waiting For The Rapture". Sufjan Stevens' song "Chicago", from the album "Illinois", may also be considered a Rapture song.
  • American rock band Avenged Sevenfold released a song called "To End the Rapture" on their first album Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, also a biblical reference in relation to the Rapture.


  • On August 2, 2001, humorist Elroy Willis posted a Usenet article titled; "Mistaken Rapture Kills Arkansas Woman". This fictional, satirical story about a woman who causes a traffic accident and is killed when she believes the rapture has started, circulated widely on the Internet and was believed by many people to be a description of an actual incident. Elements of the story appeared in an episode of the HBO television drama Six Feet Under, and a slightly modified version of the story was reprinted in the US tabloid newspaper Weekly World News. The story continues to circulate by electronic mail as a chain letter.[54]

Video Games

  • In the video game Bioshock, the story takes place in a destroyed utopian underwater city called Rapture.

See also


  1. ^ Clouse, R.G. (1984), Elwell, Walter A., ed., Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, pp. 908, ISBN 0801034132 
  2. ^ 1 Thessalonians 4:17. deinde nos qui vivimus qui relinquimur simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Domino in aera et sic semper cum Domino erimus (Latin Vulgate)
  3. ^ Raptus is Jerome's translation of the Koine Greek word harpazo, which means "caught up" or "taken away." ἁρπάζω harpazō is used only in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and Acts 8:38. In Acts 8:38, ἁρπάζω harpazō describes the transporting of Philip suddenly from Gaza to Azotus.
    • 1 Thessalonians 4:17 ἔπειτα ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες οἱ περιλειπόμενοι ἅμα σὺν αὐτοῖς ἁρπαγησόμεθα ἐν νεφέλαις εἰς ἀπάντησιν τοῦ κυρίου εἰς ἀέρα καὶ οὕτως πάντοτε σὺν κυρίῳ ἐσόμεθα
    • Acts 8:39 ὅτε δὲ ἀνέβησαν ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος πνεῦμα κυρίου ἥρπασεν τὸν Φίλιππον καὶ οὐκ εἶδεν αὐτὸν οὐκέτι ὁ εὐνοῦχος ἐπορεύετο γὰρ τὴν ὁδὸν αὐτοῦ χαίρων
    ἁρπάζω is root of strongs G726 and has the following meanings: (1) to seize, carry off by force; (2) to seize on, claim for one's self eagerly; (3) to snatch out or away
  4. ^ rapture, n.. Oxford University Press. June 2009. http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50197456. Retrieved 30 November 2009. 
  5. ^ Old English Miscellany 223
  6. ^ Chronicle of Troy 2:14
  7. ^ tr. John Trevisa, Rolls Series 3:25
  8. ^ (Wynkyn de Worde, 1531): 25
  9. ^ A Display of Heraldry 3:2
  10. ^ Paradise Lost 3:522
  11. ^ Hereward the Wake 1:12
  12. ^ Kyle, Richard G (1998). The Last Days Are Here Again: A History of the End Times. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books.  p. 78-79
  13. ^ Boyer, Paul (1992). When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.  p. 75
  14. ^ Marotta, Frank (1995). Morgan Edwards: An Eighteenth Century Pretribulationist. Morganville, NJ: Present Truth Publishers. 
  15. ^ Oliphant, (Margaret) (1862). The life of Edward Irving, minister of the National Scotch church, London.. London: Hurst and Blackett Publishers.  p. 220
  16. ^ Miller, Edward (1878). The history and doctrines of Irvingism.. London: C. Kegan Paul & Co..  p. 8
  17. ^ Tregelles, Prideaux (1866). The hope of Christ's second coming: how is it taught in Scripture, and why?. London: Samuel Bagster and Sons. 
  18. ^ Bray, John L. (1992). The origin of the pre-tribulation rapture teaching. Lakeland, FL: John L. Bray Ministry, Inc..  p. 24-25
  19. ^ Blaising, Craig A.; Darrell L. Bock (1993). Progressive Dispensationalism. Wheaton, IL: BridgePoint. ISBN 156476138X.  page 11
  20. ^ Synaxis - About the Supposed Rapture
  21. ^ Lindsey, Hal, The Road to Holocaust, Bantam, (1989), p.77
  22. ^ Keeley, Robin, Eerdmans’ Handbook to Christian Belief, Wm B Eerdmans Publishing, (1982), p.415
  23. ^ Byzantine Text Discovery: Ephraem the Syrian - Chuck Missler - Koinonia House
  24. ^ Online Bible Quotes, Study Commentary on Rapture Prophecy, A Sermon by Pseudo-Ephraem
  25. ^ See Apocalypse of Pseudo-Ephraem for a detailed explanation of the text and the controversy.
  26. ^ The Jesuits and the Rapture: Francisco Ribera & Emmanuel Lacunza
  27. ^ Margaret MacDonald Who?
  28. ^ Margaret MacDonald's Complete Vision
  29. ^ Online Bible Quotes, Study Commentary on Rapture Prophecy, Clement and Polycarp
  30. ^ Hal Lindsey
  31. ^ Clouse, R.G. (1984), Elwell, Walter A., ed., Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, pp. 910, ISBN 0801034132 
  32. ^ Lindsey, Hal: The Rapture, Bantam Books (1983), p. 25
  33. ^ Erickson, Millard J. (1977). Contemporary Options in Eschatology. Grand Rapids MI: Baker Book House. ISBN 0801032628.  page 125
  34. ^ Erickson, Millard J. (1977). Contemporary Options in Eschatology. Grand Rapids MI: Baker Book House. ISBN 0801032628.  page 164
  35. ^ Hoekema, Anthony A. (1979), The Bible and the Future, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, p. 164, ISBN 0853646244 
  36. ^ Prewrath Consortium: Prewrath Explained: Timeline
  37. ^ Rosenthal, Marv: "The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church: Is it Biblical?", Regular Baptist Press (1991)
  38. ^ Erickson, Millard J. (1998). A Basic Guide to Eschatology. Grand Rapids MI: Baker Book House. ISBN 0801058368.  page 169
  39. ^ Erickson, Millard J. (1977). Contemporary Options in Eschatology. Grand Rapids MI: Baker Book House. ISBN 0801032628.  page 172
  40. ^ Walvoord, John F. (1979). The Rapture Question. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub. House. ISBN 0310341515. 
  41. ^ Walvoord, John F. (1979). The Rapture Question. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub. House. ISBN 0310341515.  page 128
  42. ^ Erickson, Millard J. (1998). A Basic Guide to Eschatology. Grand Rapids MI: Baker Book House. ISBN 0801058368.  page 152
  43. ^ Ladd, George Eldon (1956). The Blessed Hope: A Biblical Study of the Second Advent and the Rapture. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 0802811116. 
  44. ^ Gundry, Robert Horton (1973). The Church and the Tribulation. Grand Rapids, Mich., Zondervan: Zondervan. 
  45. ^ Strandberg, Todd. "The Date Setters Diary". http://www.raptureready.com/rr-date-setters.html. Retrieved 22 June 2007. 
  46. ^ Nelson, Chris (22 June 2003). "A Brief History of the Apocalypse". http://www.abhota.info/end1.htm. Retrieved 22 June 2007. 
  47. ^ Smith, Chuck (1978). Future Survival. The Word for Today. p. 17. ISBN 0893370118. 
  48. ^ "The World Did Not End Yesterday". Boston Globe (Associated Press). 29 October 1992. 
  49. ^ Nelson, Chris (18 June 2002). "A Brief History of the Apocalypse; 1971 - 1997: Millennial Madness". http://www.abhota.info/end3.htm. Retrieved 23 June 2007. 
  50. ^ "We are Almost There". http://www.familyradio.com/graphical/literature/waat/contents.html. Retrieved 22 July 2008. 
  51. ^ This is London Ltd. (22 August 2007). "The world will end in 2060, according to Newton". http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23401099-details/The+world+will+end+in+2060,+according+to+Newton/article.do. Retrieved 22 August 2007. 
  52. ^ Stephen D. Snobelen. "Isaac Newton and Apocalypse Now". http://www.isaac-newton.org/newton_2060.htm. Retrieved 22 August 2007. 
  53. ^ ISBN 0963677225
  54. ^ Woman Dies in Premature Rapture - Netlore Archive

External links





Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also rapture


Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:


The Rapture

  1. the sudden removal of Christian believers from the Earth before the Tribulation and the return of Jesus Christ

Simple English

The Rapture (meaning "to carry to another place"[1] is an future event in Christian theology where Jesus Christ will return to Earth to bring his followers to Heaven. In Christianity it is believed that following this amazing event, the world will go through what is called the tribulation. Then later following, will come the millennium (a thousand years).



The tribulation (or the great tribulation) is supposed theory of life after the rapture. Most Christians agree that the period lasts around seven years. During these years, it is believed that the Antichrist will come to power and control the world.


The Millennium is the period following the rapture, and the tribulation, that Christians believe they will live in glory on the Earth. They also believe that Jesus Christ will be in total control over earth for 1,000 years (a millennium).

Books and movies


In 1950, the novel Raptured by Ernest Angley was published, and in 1995, the first of the Left Behind series was published. These and other books have made the story of the rapture and the tribulation popular.


The Rapture story has been retold in many movies. The most well-known production company is Cloud Ten Pictures. Which have created the Left Behind film series (Left Behind: The Movie, Left Behind II: Tribulation Force, and Left Behind: World at War), as well as several other movies. Some other notable end times movies are A Thief in the Night and The Omega Code.


Other websites


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