If a set of texts is combined onto one line you are not expected to differentiate them from each other.
- Egyptian book of the dead (diverse passages)
- Babylonian (main Epic of Gilgamesh and Tablet 12)
- Psalm 49
- Amos and Joel
- Wisdom of Solomon
- 1 Maccabees
- 2 Maccabees
- Qumran sect (Instruction on Two Spirits, War Scroll, Thanksgiving Hymn)
- 1 Enoch (Book of Watchers, Apocalypse of Weeks)
- 1 Corinthians 15
- 1 Thessalonians
- 2 Thessalonians
- 2 Peter
- Apocalypse of John
- 4 Ezra (Ezra and the angel)
- Apocalypse of Peter
- Intermediate state
- Realized eschatology
- Already / not yet
- Resurrection (potentially distinguished from resuscitation)
- Apocalypse / apocalyptic / apocalypticism
- Body-soul dualism
Questions and spectra
How do we know?
- Revelation (new, direct)
- Interpretation of received writings
Mixing of cultures
- Semitic (Mesopotamia and ancient Israel)
- Hellenistic / Mediterranean
- Northern European
- Indigenous western hemisphere
Is there an afterlife?
- Minimal: legacy, little or no continuation of consciousness, live for this life
- Some/all spirits live on
- Some/all bodies are raised in some sense
- Some/all bodies are raised in a literal physical sense
What should one do in this life to optimize experience in the next life?
- There’s nothing anyone can do
- Die well (honorably, in old age, non-violently, surrounded by family, be buried)
- Stockpile resources and currency
- Belong to the right group
- Believe the right things
- Perform the right rituals
- Behave ethically toward others, namely...
- Fight on the right side of the war
Is the body good?
- No. It is a prison house for the soul.
- It may be the image of God in a relative sense, but the resurrected body will be much more glorious.
- The body is great and will be restored as is.
What are the odds?
- All experience the same fate, death is the great equalizer (or with minor exceptions)
- Almost everyone is doomed to a horrible fate
- Almost everyone can expect a blissful fate
- There are two or three fates with some variability within those categories.
- There is a sliding scale with many fates depending on how good or bad you were
What will happen to the world? What does that say about us and our view of the present world?
- The world is stable, basically good.
- The outside world is corrupt, but internally we can live in a heavenly world even before we die.
- God will renew the world, but in the meantime expects us to make it the best it can be.
- God will destroy the world.
- Nothing will change ever, or at least not within a timeframe you can imagine
- Someday maybe, doesn’t really matter, no way of knowing
- Be fully prepared for both possibilities: in your lifetime and not in your lifetime
- Real real soon, overdue even
- We’re not really waiting for anything because we already have what we need.
- God’s calendar is predetermined and cannot be influenced by human beings.
- God is waiting for humans to do enough good to bring about a new creation.
- God is waiting for humans to do enough evil to bring about destruction.
- God alone determines all things.
- God’s ultimate sovereignty is temporarily delayed while angels fight it out.
- Human beings are entirely responsible for their own fates.
- Heavenly and earthly messiahs
- Complicated mixtures of the above
- Beneath the earth
- The present earth (however restored)
- Far away reaches of earth
- Above the earth, in or above the skies
- Who cares?
- Aside from being true or not being true, when have beliefs proven beneficial to a person? Beneficial to a society? Destructive to a person? Destructive to a society?
- What hopes and fears are motivating the authors? How do they want to influence the hopes and fears of the audience?
Not sure we covered yet
Which of the following is least relevant to the eschatological criteria in the Apocalypse of John?
- Good deeds, especially service to the poor
- Resistance to the religious (and other) appeal of Rome