Eschatology Tag

I recently (as in the spring of 2012; wow, this post has been in draft for awhile!) gave a guest lecture in Bart Ehrman's Introduction to New Testament and Early Christian Literature class. Bart periodically has his senior students give a lecture or two for experience...

There's a pretty good post on how various eschatological perspectives have influenced American foreign policy decisions over at the New Jerusalem Community Blog. Though not exactly precise in terminology (identifying "premillennial" with "dispensational" when the former does not necessarily imply the latter), the blog is...

A good post over at the TCoJC blog compiles a list of quotations on eschatology from the church fathers. Unfortunately, the quotes are not in chronological order, but it is an interesting read nonetheless. (Missing from the list are the numerous quotes from church fathers talking about the pre-tribulation rapture and all the horrible events of the Great Tribulation that will precede the second coming—you know, all the stuff Tim Lahaye, Hal Lindsey, etc. have made large amounts of money talking about. Oh wait, never mind—that's because these teachings didn't exist in early Christianity.)

Approximate reading time: 7 minutes.

I'm wanting to do this one for a while—in fact, I almost did this one before the last post of this series, but decided not to swing at four softballs in a row. This post yet again deals with eschatology—a subject that, quite frankly, is a source of many batting practice fastballs for those looking for misinterpreted Bible passages. The passage is in the "triple tradition" (a passage occurring in Mark 13, Matthew 24, and Luke 21), so the wording varies slightly between each. Since it was most likely the earliest of the three, I have chosen to follow Mark in this post, though I will also make note of significant differences below:

Approximate reading time: 7.5 minutes. *If new to this series, you might want to check the introduction.* The first three installments of this series covered misinterpretations most often seen at the popular level. While today's passage is indeed commonly misinterpreted at the popular level, it is surprisingly very often misconstrued even at the highest levels of scholarship. The passage is found in 1 Thessalonians 5, where Paul begins to discuss the "Day of the Lord" (or "the Lord's Day"; a term denoting the eschatological "Sabbath," when Christ will return):

*If new to this series, please see the introduction.*Revelation 21:21: καὶ οἱ δώδεκα πυλῶνες δώδεκα μαργαρῖται, ἀνὰ εἷς ἕκαστος τῶν πυλώνων ἦν ἐξ ἑνὸς μαργαρίτου. καὶ ἡ πλατεῖα τῆς πόλεως χρυσίον καθαρὸν ὡς ὕαλος διαυγής."And the twelve gates of the city were twelve pearls; each...