St Irenaeus seems quite confident that the antichrist will appear after six thousand years of human history.  He doesn’t explicitly say that he has received this from apostolic tradition, true.  But nor does he say that it is a conjecture of his own.  Given that his whole purpose in the Adversus Haereses is to pass on what he has received, against the false teachings of the gnostics, it seems very likely, at least, that he has received this from some of the disciples of the apostle St John. “In as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded” (Adv. haer. V.28).  The number of the beast he takes not only to be the numerical value of a man’s name or title, but also to allude to apostasy (indicated by the 600 years of Noah’s age when the flood occurred), and persecution (indicated by the statue of Nebuchadnezzar, which was 60 cubits high and 6 broad).

The six hundred years of Noah, in whose time the deluge occurred because of the apostasy, and the number of the cubits of the image for which these just men were sent into the fiery furnace, do indicate the number of the name of that man in whom is concentrated the whole apostasy of six thousand years, and unrighteousness, and wickedness, and false prophecy, and deception (Adv. haer. V.29).

According to Cornelius a Lapide, most meticulous of exegetes, Adam was created in 3950 BC. Adding six thousand years to that we come to AD 2050.  If we were to guess that the lawless one will be about thirty years old when he makes his appearance, that would mean that he is due to be born about now.

In a chilling twist on the apparently obvious interpretation of the parable of the Unjust Judge, St Irenaeus says that this judge who fears neither God nor man is the antichrist, and that the widow woman who cries to him day and night for vindication against her enemy is not the Church, but unbelieving Jewry.  Seeking some Messiah who would not be Jesus of Nazareth, she has been calling upon the antichrist in ignorance for near two thousand years.  It may be that her long wait will soon be over.