Required primary sources
- Synoptic “apocalypse”
(PDF in parallel columns)
- Luke 17:20-37 (HTML)
- Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 (HTML)
- Matthew 25 (HTML)
- First generation
- Second generation
- During the Jewish revolt against Rome
- Quite a while after the Jewish revolt against Rome
Already and/or not yet (realized eschatology)
- It’s coming any day now
- It’s starting/underway
- Be ready in case it happens
- It has already essentially happened
If this is the good news, what’s the bad news?
- How are the authors shaping the audience’s hope/expectation/anticipation?
- Are you left looking forward to the parousia, dreading it, finding meaning in suffering?
Distinguish and note relative emphasis on:
- Group membership
- Individual and collective righteousness
Influences and influence
Pay attention to how NT sources are interpreting older sources, and try to distinguish authorial intent from history of interpretation.
- How would you characterize each of the synoptic gospels on a spectrum of realized eschatology? In other words, how does each imagine the kingdom of God relative to the present?
- When did each author think Jesus would return, and what should readers two thousand years later think?
- What can we say about how historical context shapes the eschatology of each gospel?
- Who is being judged in Matthew 25? What are the criteria? What relevant concepts did you learn in your moral theology courses?
The readings listed under March 2/5 could function as a look back and look forward in the course.
That is, the book is written from the perspective of contemporary systematic theology and gives a short summary of eschatology in the Bible.
I can also see a case for looking at those pages now that we are focusing on the Bible, to give a summary of the major themes important for later theologians.
- “New Testament Apocalyptic,” pp. 1-5 in McDowell and Kirkland, Eschatology.
- “The Scriptures (Political Theology in),” pp. 51-60 in McDowell and Kirkland, Eschatology.
- “The Eschatological Presence of Christ in the New Testament,” pp. 83-89 in McDowell and Kirkland, Eschatology.