This thesis investigated whether the doctrine of the premillennial, pretribulation Rapture of the Church, as a separate event from Jesus’ second coming, originated in the early Church or with the Dispensational Movement around 1830. Although the term “rapture” does not itself appear in Scripture, it comes from the Latin words, rapere and rapiemur and from the Greek word harpazo (which does appear in the New Testament). The New Testament text supports the concept of a Rapture of the Church, as well as being confirmed by the raptures of Enoch, Elijah and Jesus. There are related terms in the New Testament that have been addressed, the foremost being parousia. There are also related non-scriptural, theological terms that were defined, the foremost being eschatology, premillennialism, pretribulationalism and imminence. The writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers were examined to see if they address any of these terms. Subsequent historical church writings were also reviewed to uncover any mention of the Rapture. All this research was then examined to determine if enough evidence existed to support a conclusion that the Rapture was an orthodox belief of the early Church or not. It was determined that enough evidence exists to support this conclusion.
Hebert, David, K. "The Rapture of the Church: A Doctrine of the Early Church or a Recent Development of the Dispensational Movement?" M.A. thesis, Oral Roberts University, 2006.