Eschatological and Apocalyptic Teachings

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  • Eschatological and Apocalyptic Teachings
    • Jewish Eschatology
      • Background
        • 1. The Jewish people had a covenant with God.
        • 2. The temple of Solomon = God was amongst them.
        • 3. Jews began sinning and worshipping false idols.
        • 4. The Babylonian capture was a result of the broken covenant.
      • What will happen?
        • The coming of the Messiah
        • The destruction of evil powers
        • Universal peace
        • The rebuilding of the temple
        • The restoration of Israel as the Holy Land (in-gathering)
      • Implications
        • Some may resort to extremism to speed up what they see as 'the destruction of evil powers'.
        • Orthodox Jews may be seen as 'separatist' for choosing not to associate with those outside of their religion.
        • The destruction of Al Aqsa/Dome of the Rock to rebuild the temple of Solomon would cause uproar amongst Muslim communities.
        • More displaced Palestinians (due to in-gathering) would cause the conflict to escalate.
        • Palestine is a holy land for Muslims as well as well as Christians and Jews - it is where Muhammad (pbuh) ascended into heaven.  They too have a right to the land.
        • The idea of the Messiah is still ardent in Jewish people's minds - they still pray to the wailing wall hoping for his return.
    • Definitions
      • Eschatology
        • Teachings and beliefs about the end of time.
      • Apocalyptic
        • Signs, revelations and events about the end of the world.
    • Christian Eschatology
      • Transition from Jewish Eschatology
        • Jesus is God made-man (i.e. Jesus = the temple).
        • The Kingdom of God is open to all those who follow the Great Commandment; there are no "chosen" people of God.
        • Jesus is the Messiah and came to save us from sin.
        • Jesus offers salvation from sin and established a rule of God   (= universal peace).
      • Three Versions
        • Realised
          • The Messiah has come and died to save us from sin, hence whoever believes has experienced the Kingdom of God.
        • Inaugurated
          • The Messiah has come to start the process of establishing God's Kingdom
        • Futuristic
          • = Post- Millenarianism; Christ will return after a 'Golden age' in which righteousness prevails. He will end history with the  final judgement.
            • Millenarian Teachings
              • Pre-Millenarianism = Second Coming is preceded by 'trials and tribulations'.
              • Amillenarianism; the time period between the crucifixion and the Second Coming is a symbolic millennium.
      • Millenarian Teachings
        • Pre-Millenarianism = Second Coming is preceded by 'trials and tribulations'.
        • Amillenarianism; the time period between the crucifixion and the Second Coming is a symbolic millennium.
      • Signs
        • False Messiahs
        • Persecution of believers
        • Sacrilege
        • Famines/ earthquakes / wars
      • Purpose = Salvation for all believers who have endured suffering
      • (Apocalyptic ideas in the book of Revelation)
    • Secular Eschatology
      • Destruction of the Universe = physical armageddon
      • End of life on Earth
        • Population bomb
          • Conflict, wars, famine and diseases would be a result of a lack of resources.
          • Catholics do not agree with contraception but say that sex should only occur in marriage.
          • Are policies like China's one-child policy morally wrong?
        • Global warming
          • A result of consumerist nature of society.
          • How can we decide whether a country's use of fossil fuels is too much? Many economies rely heavily on fuel consumptions so they won't agree to caps.
          • International caps/ government initiatives to curb fuel consumption.
          • We may have to resort back to 'simple living'.
        • Nuclear holocasust
          • Irresponsible use of scientific knowledge can result in death on an unimaginable scale.
          • Rogue states such as Iran and North Korea want arms for international prowess.
          • Scientists also have a moral duty; this is reinforced by the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
      • End of current age = Big Bang and 'Big Crunch'
  • Implications
    • Some may resort to extremism to speed up what they see as 'the destruction of evil powers'.
    • Orthodox Jews may be seen as 'separatist' for choosing not to associate with those outside of their religion.
    • The destruction of Al Aqsa/Dome of the Rock to rebuild the temple of Solomon would cause uproar amongst Muslim communities.
    • More displaced Palestinians (due to in-gathering) would cause the conflict to escalate.
    • Palestine is a holy land for Muslims as well as well as Christians and Jews - it is where Muhammad (pbuh) ascended into heaven.  They too have a right to the land.
    • The idea of the Messiah is still ardent in Jewish people's minds - they still pray to the wailing wall hoping for his return.

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