Concept Of Eschatology

1013 Words5 Pages
ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN
CONCEPT OF ESCHATOLOGY

This part of the study focuses on the Ancient Near Eastern concept and understanding of eschatology. To put it into perspective, the Persians and Babylonians concept of eschatology will be analyzed since “the importance of the Near Eastern background has been axiomatic in the study of early Israel.” However, there is the need to define the concept to help put the study in perspective. To this end, the concept of eschatology will be defined.

Defining Eschatology

The OT consist of several promises about a better future, they speak of the circumstances that scarcely could be expected to arrive as the “result of normal, or even extraordinary, human progress, and so [readers] agree in distinguishing
…show more content…
In the article An Eschatological Drama: Bavli Avodah Zarah 2a-3b, Jeffrey L. Rubenstein argues that eschatological vision and prophesy dominated the Babylonian kingdom. He further points out that the Babylonian Talmud is occupied with many events depicting “the world to come” and “static descriptions of the glorious miracles that await the righteous in the next world.” A look at the Jewish eschatology reveals, according to Schmidt, that the: Extant literature reveals a marked difference between earlier and later ideas in respect of man’s condition after death, Israel’s destiny, and the future of the world. The great prophets of the Assyrian and Chaldaean periods stand forth in striking contrast with their predecessors and their successors in the Persian and the Graeco-Roman periods. Their tremendous emphasis upon the ethical demands of Yahwe and their opposition to chauvinism and entangling foreign alliances have set them apart and given them an epoch-making…show more content…
Their understanding of eschatology was no exception. Schmidt asserts that several Persian myths and believes had found their way into the understanding and thoughts of Israel’s view of God and His dealings with nations and the world as a whole. Among these, the idea that probably originated in Persia and spread around the Ancient Near Eastern region was “the conception of a coming destruction of the world by fire, preceded by an accumulation of plagues, and followed by a renewal of the world and the return of the terrestrial paradise, with its innocence and blessedness, ruled over by a semi-divine being, the first man.” The prophets then applied this myth locally to the cosmic catastrophe and made concessions to the popular eschatology. This ancient mythical material was utilized by the apocalyptic seers, and fresh accessions from abroad made it possible for them to rear a more elaborate
Open Document