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Re: Time and Again

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  • Antonio Jerez
    ... I would say that the idea of the Parousia was a logical necessity for the early Christians. Even if Jesus hadn t said anything about it something like this
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 5, 1998
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      Philip B. Lewis asked:


      >"Let me ask again, as I did some months ago but without reply, What is the
      >logic behind a *parousia* anyway? It is a thoroughly NT expectation, but on
      >what grounds?

      I would say that the idea of the Parousia was a logical necessity
      for the early Christians. Even if Jesus hadn't said anything about
      it something like this would have to be invented. Almost anybody
      (specially Jews who were sceptical to the Christians) could see
      that the fullness of the Messianic age had NOT come with the
      first coming of Jesus. The world had NOT changed in any substantial
      way. That meant that since Jesus was the Messiah he simply had
      to come back to show himself in full glory and finish the job he had
      left undone.

      What scriptural precedent to justify the expectation? What
      >can be seen, or surmised, in the Historical Jesus which gives rise to such
      >expectation?"

      I wouldn't say the Parousia is based on any specific piece of
      Scripture. The early Christians picked a little bit here, a little
      bit there - Isaiah, Daniel...

      >I am not interested in theological argumentation here. A *parousia* was
      >expected as early as I Thessalonians. So it was there - "the Lord
      >descending with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the
      >sound of the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ" rising.
      >>
      >It sounds as if Paul, or someone who had been instructing him, had been
      >expounding on the archangel's call and the sounding of the *shofar*, as
      >conditional to the resurrection of the faithful. Now, I should suppose that
      >any such instruction had a scriptural precedent. What was it? Or lacking
      >that, what was there about the Historical Jesus that would prompt
      >elaboration of this kind? Did the Historical Jesus have anything to do with it?

      My own qualified guess is that Jesus did not actually predict his
      own Parousia. I think he predicted the coming of the Kingdom of
      God in the near future. After Jesus death (and resurrection) his
      followers merged the coming of the Kingdom with the Parousia -
      the Son of Man was going to bring the fulfillment of the Kingdom
      himself. I think there are signs of this merging of traditions in the
      NT.

      Best wishes

      Antonio
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