Christian eschatology
Overview
 
Christian eschatology is a major branch of study within Christian theology
Christian theology
- Divisions of Christian theology :There are many methods of categorizing different approaches to Christian theology. For a historical analysis, see the main article on the History of Christian theology.- Sub-disciplines :...

. Eschatology
Eschatology
Eschatology is a part of theology, philosophy, and futurology concerned with what are believed to be the final events in history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end of the world or the World to Come...

, from two Greek words meaning last (ἔσχατος, last) and study (λογία, lit. discourse), is the study of the end of things, whether the end of an individual life, the end of the age, or the end of the world. Broadly speaking, Christian eschatology is the study of the destiny of man as it is revealed in the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, which is the primary source for all Christian eschatology studies.

The major issues and events in Christian eschatology are: death and the afterlife
Afterlife
The afterlife is the belief that a part of, or essence of, or soul of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity, survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means, in contrast to the belief in eternal...

, heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

 and hell
Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

, the return of Jesus, the resurrection of the dead
Resurrection of the dead
Resurrection of the Dead is a belief found in a number of eschatologies, most commonly in Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Zoroastrian. In general, the phrase refers to a specific event in the future; multiple prophesies in the histories of these religions assert that the dead will be brought back to...

, the rapture
Rapture
The rapture is a reference to the "being caught up" referred to in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, when the "dead in Christ" and "we who are alive and remain" will be caught up in the clouds to meet "the Lord"....

, the tribulation
Tribulation
The Great Tribulation refers to tumultuous events that are described during the "signs of the times", first mentioned by Jesus in the Olivet discourse...

, the millennium
Millennialism
Millennialism , or chiliasm in Greek, is a belief held by some Christian denominations that there will be a Golden Age or Paradise on Earth in which "Christ will reign" for 1000 years prior to the final judgment and future eternal state...

, the end of the world, the last judgment
Last Judgment
The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord in Christian theology, is the final and eternal judgment by God of every nation. The concept is found in all the Canonical gospels, particularly the Gospel of Matthew. It will purportedly take place after the...

, and the new heaven and new earth
The New Earth
The New Earth is an expression used in the Book of Isaiah , 2 Peter , and Book of Revelation in the Bible to describe the final state of redeemed humanity...

 of the World to Come
World to Come
The World to Come is an eschatological phrase reflecting the belief that the "current world" is flawed or cursed and will be replaced in the future by a better world or a paradise. The concept is similar to the concepts of Heaven and the afterlife, but Heaven is another place generally seen as...

.
Encyclopedia
Christian eschatology is a major branch of study within Christian theology
Christian theology
- Divisions of Christian theology :There are many methods of categorizing different approaches to Christian theology. For a historical analysis, see the main article on the History of Christian theology.- Sub-disciplines :...

. Eschatology
Eschatology
Eschatology is a part of theology, philosophy, and futurology concerned with what are believed to be the final events in history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end of the world or the World to Come...

, from two Greek words meaning last (ἔσχατος, last) and study (λογία, lit. discourse), is the study of the end of things, whether the end of an individual life, the end of the age, or the end of the world. Broadly speaking, Christian eschatology is the study of the destiny of man as it is revealed in the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, which is the primary source for all Christian eschatology studies.

The major issues and events in Christian eschatology are: death and the afterlife
Afterlife
The afterlife is the belief that a part of, or essence of, or soul of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity, survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means, in contrast to the belief in eternal...

, heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

 and hell
Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

, the return of Jesus, the resurrection of the dead
Resurrection of the dead
Resurrection of the Dead is a belief found in a number of eschatologies, most commonly in Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Zoroastrian. In general, the phrase refers to a specific event in the future; multiple prophesies in the histories of these religions assert that the dead will be brought back to...

, the rapture
Rapture
The rapture is a reference to the "being caught up" referred to in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, when the "dead in Christ" and "we who are alive and remain" will be caught up in the clouds to meet "the Lord"....

, the tribulation
Tribulation
The Great Tribulation refers to tumultuous events that are described during the "signs of the times", first mentioned by Jesus in the Olivet discourse...

, the millennium
Millennialism
Millennialism , or chiliasm in Greek, is a belief held by some Christian denominations that there will be a Golden Age or Paradise on Earth in which "Christ will reign" for 1000 years prior to the final judgment and future eternal state...

, the end of the world, the last judgment
Last Judgment
The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord in Christian theology, is the final and eternal judgment by God of every nation. The concept is found in all the Canonical gospels, particularly the Gospel of Matthew. It will purportedly take place after the...

, and the new heaven and new earth
The New Earth
The New Earth is an expression used in the Book of Isaiah , 2 Peter , and Book of Revelation in the Bible to describe the final state of redeemed humanity...

 of the World to Come
World to Come
The World to Come is an eschatological phrase reflecting the belief that the "current world" is flawed or cursed and will be replaced in the future by a better world or a paradise. The concept is similar to the concepts of Heaven and the afterlife, but Heaven is another place generally seen as...

. Eschatological passages are found in many places in the Bible, both in the Old
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 and the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

s. There are also many extrabiblical examples of eschatological prophecy, as well as church traditions.

History

Eschatology is an ancient branch of study in Christian theology, with study of the "last things" and the Second Coming of Christ first touched on by Ignatius of Antioch
Ignatius of Antioch
Ignatius of Antioch was among the Apostolic Fathers, was the third Bishop of Antioch, and was a student of John the Apostle. En route to his martyrdom in Rome, Ignatius wrote a series of letters which have been preserved as an example of very early Christian theology...

 (c. 35–107 AD), then given more consideration by the Christian apologist, Justin Martyr (c. 100–165). Treatment of eschatology continued in the West
Western Christianity
Western Christianity is a term used to include the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church and groups historically derivative thereof, including the churches of the Anglican and Protestant traditions, which share common attributes that can be traced back to their medieval heritage...

 in the teachings of Tertullian
Tertullian
Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian , was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. He is the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature. He also was a notable early Christian apologist and...

 (c. 160–225), and was given fuller reflection and speculation soon after by Origen
Origen
Origen , or Origen Adamantius, 184/5–253/4, was an early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian, and one of the most distinguished writers of the early Church. As early as the fourth century, his orthodoxy was suspect, in part because he believed in the pre-existence of souls...

 (c. 185–254). It was increasingly recognized as a formal division of theological study during the 20th century.

Approaches to prophetic interpretation

The following approaches arose from the study of Christianity’s most central eschatological document, the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

, but the principles embodied in them can be applied to all prophecy in the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

. They are by no means mutually exclusive and are often combined to form a more complete and coherent interpretation of prophetic passages. Most interpretations fit into one, or a combination of, these approaches.

Preterism

Preterism
Preterism
Preterism is a Christian eschatological view that interprets prophecies of the Bible, especially Daniel and Revelation, as events which have already happened in the first century A.D. Preterism holds that Ancient Israel finds its continuation or fulfillment in the Christian church at the...

 (from the Latin praeteritus, meaning "gone by") is an approach which sees prophecy as chiefly being fulfilled in the past, especially (in the case of the Book of Revelation) during the first century. Prophecies in general, therefore, have already been fulfilled. Revelation, for example, may be seen as referring to the struggle of Christianity to survive the persecutions of the Roman Empire, as many other interpretations are considered. There are two major views within preterism, Partial preterism
Partial Preterism
Partial preterism is a form of Christian eschatology that places the events of most of the Book of Revelation as occurring during the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD yet still affirms an orthodox future bodily return of Christ to earth at an unknown day and hour...

 and Full preterism.

Historicism

Historicism says that Biblical prophecies provide us with a broad view of history, as well as an explanation of the religious significance of historical events. Historicists attempt to identify prophetic passages with major events in history.

Futurism

In Futurism, parallels may be drawn with historical events, but most eschatological prophecies are chiefly referring to events which have not been fulfilled, but will take place at the end of the age and the end of the world
End of the world
End of the world may refer to:* End time, in religion* List of places described as the end of land or the world* Expected tidal destruction of Earth when Sun becomes red-giant star-Albums:* End of the World , 1968 work by Aphrodite's Child...

. Most prophecies will be fulfilled during a global time of chaos known as the Great Tribulation and afterwards.

Idealism

In Idealism
Idealism (Christian eschatology)
Idealism in Christian eschatology is an interpretation of the Book of Revelation that sees all of the imagery of the book as non-literal symbols.Jacob Taubes writes that idealist eschatology came about as Renaissance thinkers began to doubt that the Kingdom of...

, also known as "spiritual" or "symbolic", the events described in prophecy are neither past, present, nor future, but are representative of larger ideals and principles. Eschatological prophecy deals with the ongoing struggle between the forces of light and darkness, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Its message is purely a spiritual one, an allegory
Allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

 of the spiritual path, which is equally relevant in all ages and for all people.

Jewish beliefs at the time of Jesus

There were different schools of thought on the afterlife in Israel during the first century, AD. The Sadducees, who recognized only the Torah (first five books of the Old Testament) as authoritative, did not believe in an afterlife or a resurrection. The Pharisees, who not only accepted the Torah, but the rest of the Hebrew scriptures also, believed in a resurrection of the body, and it is known to have been a major point of contention between the two groups (see Acts 8). The Pharisees based their belief on passages such as Daniel 12:2, which says: “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt."

The intermediate state

Some traditions, notably the Seventh Day Adventists, teach that the soul sleeps after death, and will not awake again until the Resurrection, while others believe the spirit goes to an intermediate place where we will live consciously until the Resurrection.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven -- through a purification or immediately -- or immediate and everlasting damnation. (Sect. 1022)

Purgatory

Most denominations (a notable exception being the Seventh Day Adventists) would affirm the statement from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (above), with the exception of the parenthetical phrase, "through a purification or immediately." This alludes to the Catholic belief in a spiritual state, known as Purgatory, in which those souls who are not worthy of hell, but not quite ready for heaven, go through a final process of purification before their full acceptance into heaven.

Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism do not believe in Purgatory as such, though the Orthodox Church is willing to allow for a period of continued sanctification (the process of being made pure, or holy) after death. Most Protestants reject the doctrine of Purgatory on the basis that, according to the Protestant interpretation of Scripture, Christ has already made full atonement for our sins on the cross, thereby removing all obstacles which prevent us from coming directly into the presence of God after death.

The Doctrine of the Resurrection Predates Christianity

The word resurrection comes from the Latin resurrectus, which is the past participle of resurgere, meaning to rise again. Although the doctrine of the resurrection comes to the forefront in the New Testament, it predates the Christian era. There is an apparent reference to the resurrection in the book of Job, where Job says, "I know that my redeemer lives, and that he will stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though... worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I will see God."[Job 19:25-27] Again, the prophet Daniel writes, "Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt."[Dan 12:2] Isaiah says: "Your dead will live. Together with my dead body, they will arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust, for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth will cast out the dead".[Isa. 26:19]

This belief was still common among the Jews in New Testament times, as exemplified by the passage which relates the raising of Lazarus from the dead. When Jesus told Lazarus’ sister, Martha, that Lazarus would rise again, she replied, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day".[Jn 11:24] Also, one of the two main branches of the Jewish religious establishment, the Pharisees, believed in and taught the future resurrection of the body.[cf Acts 23:1-8]

Two Resurrections

An important development in the New Testament is the understanding that the resurrection of the wicked will not be at the same time as that of the righteous. Revelation says: "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him a thousand years."[Rev 20:6] The rest of the dead “did not live again until the thousand years were finished."[Rev 20:5] Jesus’ words concur with those of Revelation: "The hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear his voice and come forth: those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation."[Jn 5:28, 29]

The Resurrection Body

The Bible teaches that our resurrection bodies will be different from those we have now. Jesus said, "In the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels of God in heaven."[Mt 22:30] Paul adds, “So also is the resurrection of the dead: the body… is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body."[1 Co. 15:42-44]

Sectarian Views

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the official text of the teachings of the Catholic Church. A provisional, "reference text" was issued by Pope John Paul II on October 11, 1992 — "the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council" — with his apostolic...

 the body after resurrection is changed into a spiritual, imperishable body:
[999] Christ is raised with his own body: "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself"; [553] but he did not return to an earthly life. So, in him, "all of them will rise again with their own bodies which they now bear," but Christ "will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body," into a "spiritual body" [554]


Although Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 personally believed and taught resurrection of the dead in combination with soul sleep, this is not a mainstream teaching of Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 and most Lutherans traditionally believe in resurrection of the body in combination with the immortal soul.

Early 20th century American preacher Billy Sunday
Billy Sunday
William Ashley "Billy" Sunday was an American athlete who, after being a popular outfielder in baseball's National League during the 1880s, became the most celebrated and influential American evangelist during the first two decades of the 20th century.Born into poverty in Iowa, Sunday spent some...

 epitomizes the Evangelical focus on "going to heaven" in his sermon
Sermon
A sermon is an oration by a prophet or member of the clergy. Sermons address a Biblical, theological, religious, or moral topic, usually expounding on a type of belief, law or behavior within both past and present contexts...

 “Heaven: A Wonderful Place; Where There is No More Death; Blessed Hope of the Christian.” In the message Sunday characteristically explained the feelings of his audience by saying “Everybody wants to go to Heaven. We are all curious. We want to know, where Heaven is, how it looks, who are there, what they wear, and how to get there!” Sunday speaks of many aspects of the afterlife
Afterlife
The afterlife is the belief that a part of, or essence of, or soul of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity, survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means, in contrast to the belief in eternal...

 such as the nice weather and eternal health, although there is no mention of the resurrection of the dead. He ends with an illustration about a man who dies and goes to heaven exclaiming “Home, home at last!” as if he had arrived at the end of his eschatological journey.

Several churches, such as the Anabaptists and Socinians of the Reformation, then Seventh-day Adventist Church
Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis on the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ...

, Christadelphians
Christadelphians
Christadelphians is a Christian group that developed in the United Kingdom and North America in the 19th century...

, Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

, and theologians of different traditions reject the idea of the immortality of a non-physical soul as a vestige of Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism , is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists, with its earliest contributor believed to be Plotinus, and his teacher Ammonius Saccas...

, and other pagan
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

 traditions. In this school of thought, the dead remain dead (and do not immediately progress to a Heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

, Hell
Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

, or Purgatory
Purgatory
Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which, it is believed, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven...

) until a physical resurrection of some or all of the dead occurs at the end of time. Some groups, Christadelphians
Christadelphians
Christadelphians is a Christian group that developed in the United Kingdom and North America in the 19th century...

 in particular, consider that it is not a universal resurrection
Universal resurrection
Universal resurrection is a doctrine held by most Christian denominations which posits that all of the dead who have ever lived will be resurrected from the dead, generally to stand for a Last Judgment.-Judaism:...

, and that at this time of resurrection that the Last Judgment
Last Judgment
The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord in Christian theology, is the final and eternal judgment by God of every nation. The concept is found in all the Canonical gospels, particularly the Gospel of Matthew. It will purportedly take place after the...

 will take place.

Rapture

In his letter to the church at Thessalonica, Paul writes, "The Lord himself will descend from heaven... and the dead in Christ will rise first.” But he adds that “we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air."[1 Th. 4:16-17] The rising of those who are still alive to join the resurrected dead is known as the Rapture. This passage implies that Paul believed that the return of Jesus, the Resurrection, and the Rapture would happen simultaneously.

Rapture is used in at least two senses, in the sense of pre-tribulation views in which a group of people will be "left behind" and as a synonym for the Resurrection
Resurrection of the dead
Resurrection of the Dead is a belief found in a number of eschatologies, most commonly in Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Zoroastrian. In general, the phrase refers to a specific event in the future; multiple prophesies in the histories of these religions assert that the dead will be brought back to...

 generally.

The end comes at an unexpected time

There are many passages in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, which speak of a time of terrible tribulation such as has never been known, a time of natural and man-made disasters on an awesome scale. Jesus said that at the time of his coming, "There will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever will be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake, those days will be shortened."[Mt 24:21-22]

Furthermore, the Messiah
Messiah
A messiah is a redeemer figure expected or foretold in one form or another by a religion. Slightly more widely, a messiah is any redeemer figure. Messianic beliefs or theories generally relate to eschatological improvement of the state of humanity or the world, in other words the World to...

’s return and the tribulation that accompanies it will come at a time when people are not expecting it:
Of that day and hour no-one knows; no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." [Mt 24:36-39]


Paul echoes this theme, saying, "For when they say, 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them."[1 Thess 5:3]

The Abomination of Desolation

The abomination of desolation (or desolating sacrilege) is a term found in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

, in the book of Daniel
Book of Daniel
The Book of Daniel is a book in the Hebrew Bible. The book tells of how Daniel, and his Judean companions, were inducted into Babylon during Jewish exile, and how their positions elevated in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. The court tales span events that occur during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar,...

. The term is used by Jesus Christ in the Olivet discourse
Olivet discourse
The Olivet discourse or Olivet prophecy is a biblical passage found in the Synoptic Gospels of Mark 13, Matthew 24, Luke 21. It is known as the "Little Apocalypse" because it includes Jesus' descriptions of the end times, the use of apocalyptic language, and Jesus' warning to his followers that...

, according to both the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 and the Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Mark
The Gospel According to Mark , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Mark or simply Mark, is the second book of the New Testament. This canonical account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth is one of the three synoptic gospels. It was thought to be an epitome, which accounts for its place as the second...

. In the Matthew account, Jesus is presented as quoting Daniel explicitly.
Matthew 24:15-26 (ESV
English Standard Version
The English Standard Version is an English translation of the Christian Bible. It is a revision of the 1971 edition of the Revised Standard Version...

) "So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."

Mark 13:14 (ESV) "But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."


This verse in the Olivet Discourse also occurs in the Gospel of Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

.
Luke 21.20-21 (ESV) "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…"


Many biblical scholars conclude that Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14 are prophecies after the event about the siege of Jerusalem
Siege of Jerusalem (70)
The Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD was the decisive event of the First Jewish-Roman War. The Roman army, led by the future Emperor Titus, with Tiberius Julius Alexander as his second-in-command, besieged and conquered the city of Jerusalem, which had been occupied by its Jewish defenders in...

 in AD 70 by the Roman general Titus
Titus
Titus , was Roman Emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, thus becoming the first Roman Emperor to come to the throne after his own father....

 (see Dating of the Gospel of Mark).

Preterist Christian
Preterism
Preterism is a Christian eschatological view that interprets prophecies of the Bible, especially Daniel and Revelation, as events which have already happened in the first century A.D. Preterism holds that Ancient Israel finds its continuation or fulfillment in the Christian church at the...

  commentators believe that Jesus quoted this prophecy in Mark 13:14 as referring to an event in his "1st century disciples'" immediate future, the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD
Siege of Jerusalem (70)
The Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD was the decisive event of the First Jewish-Roman War. The Roman army, led by the future Emperor Titus, with Tiberius Julius Alexander as his second-in-command, besieged and conquered the city of Jerusalem, which had been occupied by its Jewish defenders in...

.

Futurist Christians
Futurism (Christian eschatology)
Futurism is a Christian eschatological view that interprets the Book of Revelation, the Book of Daniel, the Olivet discourse and the parable of the Sheep and the Goats as future events in a literal, physical, apocalyptic, and global context...

 consider the "Abomination of Desolation" prophecy of Daniel mentioned by Jesus in and as referring to an event in the end time future, when a 7 year peace treaty will be signed between Israel and a world ruler called "the man of lawlessness
Man of Sin
The Man of Sin or Man of Lawlessness is a figure referred to in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, who is usually equated with the Antichrist.-Second Thessalonians, Chapter Two:...

", or the "Antichrist
Antichrist
The term or title antichrist, in Christian theology, refers to a leader who fulfills Biblical prophecies concerning an adversary of Christ, while resembling him in a deceptive manner...

" affirmed by the writings of the Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians.

Other scholars conclude that the Abomination of Desolation refers to the Crucifixion, an attempt by the emperor Hadrian to erect a statue to Jupiter in the Jewish temple, or an attempt by Caligula to have a statue depicting him as Zeus built in the temple.

The Seventy Weeks Prophecy

Many interpreters calculate the length of the tribulation at seven years. The key to this understanding is the "seventy weeks prophecy” in the book of Daniel. The Prophecy of Seventy Septets (or literally 'seventy times seven') appears in the angel Gabriel
Gabriel
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

's reply to Daniel, beginning with verse 22 and ending with verse 27 in the ninth chapter of the Book of Daniel
Book of Daniel
The Book of Daniel is a book in the Hebrew Bible. The book tells of how Daniel, and his Judean companions, were inducted into Babylon during Jewish exile, and how their positions elevated in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. The court tales span events that occur during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar,...

, a work included in both the Jewish Tanakh
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

 and the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

; as well as the Septuagint. The prophecy
Prophecy
Prophecy is a process in which one or more messages that have been communicated to a prophet are then communicated to others. Such messages typically involve divine inspiration, interpretation, or revelation of conditioned events to come as well as testimonies or repeated revelations that the...

 is part of both the Jewish account of history and Christian eschatology.

The prophet has a vision of the angel Gabriel, who tells him, "Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city (i.e., Israel and Jerusalem)."[Dan 9:24] After making a comparison with events in the history of Israel, many scholars have concluded that each day in the seventy weeks represents a year. The first sixty-nine weeks are interpreted as covering the period until Christ’s first coming, but the last week is thought to represent the years of the tribulation which will come at the end of this age, directly preceding the millennial age of peace:
The people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it will be with a flood, and till the end of the war, desolations are determined. Then he will confirm a covenant with many for one week. But in the middle of the week, he will bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations will be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation which is determined is poured out on the desolate.[Dan 9:26-27]


This is an obscure prophecy, but in combination with other passages, it has been interpreted to mean that the "prince who is to come" will make a seven-year covenant with Israel that will allow the rebuilding of the temple and the reinstitution of sacrifices, but “in the middle of the week,” he will break the agreement and set up an idol of himself in the temple and force people to worship it—the “abomination of desolation.” Paul writes:
Let no-one deceive you by any means, for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.[2 Thess 2:3-4]

The Second Coming

Signs of Christ's return

The Bible states:
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." [Acts 1:9-11]


Many, but not all, Christians believe:
  1. The coming of Christ will be instantaneous and worldwide. "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." ~ Matthew 24:27
  2. The coming of Christ will be visible to all. "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Matthew 24:30
  3. The coming of Christ will be audible. "And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Matthew 24:31
  4. The resurrection of the righteous will occur. "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first." ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16
  5. In one single event, the saved who are alive at Christ's coming will be caught up together with the resurrected to meet the Lord in the air. "Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord." ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:17

Last Day Counterfeits

In Matthew 24 Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 states:
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. [Matthew 24:21, 24 NKJV]


These false Christs will perform great signs and are no ordinary people "For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." (Revelation 16:14) Satan's angels will also appear as godly clergymen, and Satan will appear as an angel of light. "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works." (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) "As his crowning miracle, Satan will claim to be Jesus" (Matthew 24:23, 24).
As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour's advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. (Revelation 1:13-15). The Great Controversy, p. 624.

The Marriage of the Lamb

After Jesus meets his followers “in the air,” the marriage of the Lamb takes place: "Let us be glad and rejoice and give him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints."[Rev 19:7-8] Christ is represented throughout Revelation as “the Lamb,” symbolizing the giving of his life as an atoning sacrifice for the people of the world, just as lambs were sacrificed on the altar for the sins of Israel. His “wife” appears to represent the people of God, for she is dressed in the “righteous acts of the saints.” As the marriage takes place, there is a great celebration in heaven which involves a "great multitude."[Rev 19:6]

Armageddon

The Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

 states: "I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And he who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and with righteousness he judges and makes war."[Rev 19:11] We now see Christ, not as a lamb, but as a warrior, ready to make war against the forces of evil. There is a passage in Zechariah which is identified with this event: “I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem. The city will be taken, the houses looted, and the women raped… Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations… Thus the Lord my God will come, and all the saints with you.”[Zech 14:2-5] In Matthew, Jesus says, "The sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."[Mt 24:30]

The army of heaven
Heavenly host
Heavenly host refers to an army of good angels mentioned in the Bible. It is led either by the Archangel Michael, Jesus, or by God himself. Most descriptions of angels in the Bible describe them in military terms, such as encampment , command structure , and combat...

 is described in similar terms as the resurrected and raptured believers: "The armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed him on white horses."[Rev 19:14] Revelation continues: "I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse and against his army."[Rev 19:19] Isaiah also speaks of such a battle: "The Lord will come with fire and with his chariots, like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword the Lord will judge all flesh, and the slain of the Lord will be many."[Is. 66:15-16]

The Millennium

In the end, according to Revelation, the Lamb and his armies are victorious and the Beast, generally identified as the Antichrist, is captured and thrown into the lake of fire
Lake of Fire
A lake of fire appears, in both ancient Egyptian and Christian religion, as a place of after-death punishment of the wicked. The phrase is used in four verses of the Book of Revelation. The image was also used by the Early Christian Hippolytus of Rome in about the year 200 and has continued to be...

, while his battle casualties are left as food for the birds. Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

, the spiritual driving force behind the beast and his armies, is imprisoned:
I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. And he cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.[Rev 20:1-3]


While only Revelation speaks of a period of a thousand years for Christ’s rule on Earth, there are numerous other prophecies in both testaments concerning a future age of peace. Isaiah speaks of such a time and describes it in Edenic terms:
The wolf will dwell with the lamb; the leopard will lie down with the young goat; the calf, and the young lion, and the yearling together, and a little child will lead them. The cow and the bear will graze; their young ones will lie down together; and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play by the cobra's hole; and the weaned child will put his hand in the viper's den. They will not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. [Is 11:5-9]


Just as the physical bodies of people are changed into spiritual bodies in the resurrection (see above), so Isaiah implies that animals will undergo a transformation which enables them to live in peace with human beings and with each other. There is no more killing, either in the human or the animal kingdoms. God reverses the covenant made with Noah in which he said, "The fear and the dread of you will be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that moves on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea."[Gen 9:2] If the passage in Isaiah is interpreted literally, a return to the vegetarian diet of Eden seems to be a natural conclusion.[cf Gen 1:29-30]

Micah expresses similarly lofty thoughts, adding that Jerusalem will be the Lord’s capital in those days:
Out of Zion the word of the law will go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off. They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war any more. But everyone will sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one will make them afraid. [Micah 4:2-4]

Satan released

According to the Bible, the Millennial age of peace all but closes the history of planet Earth. However, the story is not yet quite finished: "When the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea."[Rev 20:7-8]

There is continuing discussion over the identity of Gog and Magog
Gog and Magog
Gog and Magog are names that appear primarily in various Jewish, Christian and Muslim scriptures, as well as numerous subsequent references in other works. Their context can be either genealogical or eschatological and apocalyptic, as in Ezekiel and Revelation...

. In the context of the passage, they seem to equate to something like “east and west.” There is a passage in Ezekiel, however, where God says to the prophet, "Set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him."[Ezek 38:2] Gog, in this instance, is the name of a person of the land of Magog, who is ruler (“prince”) over the regions of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. Ezekiel says of him: "You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you..."[Ezek 38:2]

Despite this huge show of force, the battle will be short-lived, for Ezekiel, Daniel, and Revelation all say that this last desperate attempt to destroy the people and the city of God will end in disaster: "I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed. I will rain down on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him: flooding rain, great hailstones, fire and brimstone." [Ezek 38:22] Revelation concurs: "Fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them."[Rev 20:9] It may be that the images of fire raining down are an ancient vision of modern weapons, others would say a supernatural intervention by God, yet others that they refer to events in history, and some would say they are symbolic of larger ideas and should not be interpreted literally.

The Last Judgment

Following the defeat of Gog, the last judgment begins: "The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."[Rev 20:10] Satan will join the Antichrist and the False Prophet
False prophet
In religion, a false prophet is one who falsely claims the gift of prophecy, or who uses that gift for evil ends. Often, someone who is considered a "true prophet" by some people is simultaneously considered a "false prophet" by others....

, who were condemned to the lake of fire at the beginning of the Millennium.

Following Satan’s consignment to the lake of fire, his followers come up for judgment. This is the “second resurrection,” and all those who were not a part of the first resurrection at the coming of Christ now rise up for judgment:
John had earlier written, "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power."[Rev 20:6] Those who are included in the Resurrection and the Rapture are excluded from the final judgment, and are not subject to the second death
Second Death
The second death is an eschatological concept in Judaism and Christianity related to punishment after a first, natural, death.-Judaism:Although the term is not found in the Hebrew Bible, Sysling in his study of Teḥiyyat ha-metim in the Palestinian Targums identifies a consistent usage of the term...

. Due to the description of the seat upon which the Lord sits, this final judgment is often referred to as the Great White Throne Judgment.

New Jerusalem

In Isaiah, God promises a new heaven and earth: "Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former will not be remembered nor come to mind."[Isa 65:17] The author of Revelation has a corresponding vision: "I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away."[Rev 21:1]

The focus turns to one city in particular, the New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem
In the book of Ezekiel, the Prophecy of New Jerusalem is Ezekiel's prophetic vision of a city to be established to the south of the Temple Mount that will be inhabited by the twelve tribes of Israel in the...

. Once again, we see the imagery of the marriage: "I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."[Rev 21:2] In the New Jerusalem, God "will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.."[Rev 21:4] As a result, there is “no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” Nor is there a need for the sun to give its light, “for the glory of God illuminated it, and the Lamb is its light."[Rev 21:22-23] The city will also be a place of great peace and joy, for "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there will be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."[Rev 21:1-4]

Description

The city itself has a large wall with twelve gates in it which are never shut, and which have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel written on them. Each of the gates is made of a single pearl, and there is an angel standing in each one. The wall also has twelve foundations which are adorned with precious stones, and upon the foundations are written the names of the twelve apostles. The gates and foundations are often interpreted as symbolizing the people of God before and after Christ.

The city and its streets are pure gold, but not like the gold we know, for this gold is described as being like clear glass. The city is square in shape, and is twelve thousand furlong
Furlong
A furlong is a measure of distance in imperial units and U.S. customary units equal to one-eighth of a mile, equivalent to 220 yards, 660 feet, 40 rods, or 10 chains. The exact value of the furlong varies slightly among English-speaking countries....

s long and wide (fifteen hundred miles). If these are comparable to earthly measurements, the city will cover an area about half the size of the contiguous United States. The height is the same as the length and breadth, and although this has led most people to conclude that it is shaped like a cube, it could also be a pyramid
Pyramid
A pyramid is a structure whose outer surfaces are triangular and converge at a single point. The base of a pyramid can be trilateral, quadrilateral, or any polygon shape, meaning that a pyramid has at least three triangular surfaces...

.

The Tree of Life

The city has a river which proceeds "out of the throne of God and of the Lamb."[Rev 22:1] Next to the river is the tree of life, which bears twelve fruits and yields its fruit every month. The last time we saw the tree of life was in the Garden of Eden.[Gen 2:9] God drove Adam and Eve away from it because it bestowed eternal life and he did not want them to have it in their degraded state.[Gen 3:22] In the New Jerusalem, the tree of life reappears, and everyone in the city has access to it. Genesis tells us that the earth was cursed because of Adam's sin,[Gen 3:17] but the author of John writes that in the New Jerusalem, "there will be no more curse."[Rev 22:3]

The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Baker, 1984) says:

Major theological positions

There are diverse opinions concerning the thousand years of peace (Millennium) described in Revelation and the events associated with it. Some interpret a literal, future, thousand-year time period in which Christ will rule over the Earth, a time which will be characterized by peace and harmony. Others understand a literal age of peace, but think the "thousand years" is a figure of speech. Still others see the Millennium as symbolic of a spiritual ideal, with no corresponding earthly condition. All of these positions fall into the category of millennialism, a broad term which includes any and all ideas relating to the millennium of Biblical prophecy. The most commonly held viewpoints are usually categorized as follows:

Premillennialism

Standard premillennialism posits that Christ's second coming will inaugurate a literal thousand-year earthly kingdom. Christ’s return will coincide with a time of great tribulation. At this time, there will be a resurrection of the people of God who have passed away, and a rapture of the people of God who are still living, and they will meet Christ at his coming. A thousand years of peace will follow, during which Christ will reign and Satan will be imprisoned in the Abyss. Those who hold to this view usually fall into one of the following three categories:

Pretribulation Rapture

Pretribulationists believe that the second coming will be in two stages separated by a seven-year period of tribulation. At the beginning of the tribulation, true Christians will rise to meet the Lord in the air (the Rapture). Then follows a seven-year period of suffering in which the Antichrist will conquer the world and persecute those who refuse to worship him. At the end of this period, Christ returns to defeat the Antichrist and establish the age of peace. This position is supported by a scripture which says, "God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” [1 Thess 5:9]

Midtribulation Rapture

Midtribulationists believe that the Rapture will take place at the halfway point of the seven-year tribulation, i.e. after 3½ years. It coincides with the “abomination of desolation” – a desecration of the temple where the Antichrist puts an end to the Jewish sacrifices, sets up his own image in the temple, and demands that he be worshiped as God. This event begins the second, most intense part of the tribulation.

Some interpreters find support for the "midtrib" position by comparing a passage in Paul's epistles with the book of Revelation. Paul says, "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1 Cor 15:51-52). Revelation divides the great tribulation into three sets of increasingly catastrophic judgments: the Seven Seals, the Seven Trumpets, and the Seven Bowls, in that order. If the "last trumpet" of Paul is equated with the last trumpet of Revelation, the Rapture would be in the middle of the Tribulation. (Not all interpreters agree with this literal interpretation of the chronology of Revelation, however.)

Posttribulation Rapture

Posttribulationists hold that Christ will not return until the end of the tribulation. Christians, rather than being raptured at the beginning of the tribulation, or halfway through, will live through it and suffer for their faith during the ascendancy of the Antichrist. Proponents of this position believe that the presence of believers during the tribulation is necessary for a final evangelistic effort during a time when external conditions will combine with the Gospel message to bring great numbers of converts into the Church in time for the beginning of the Millennium.

Postmillennialism

Postmillennialism does not believe in a premillennial appearance of Christ. The postmillennial position is that the millennium began at the inauguration of Christ's kingdom reign when he ascended to his heavenly throne and happens, not as a result of the coming of Christ, but as the global population converts to Christianity as a result of evangelization. The age of peace is still a progressing work of divine grace, but without the visible presence of Christ to take the place of an Earthly ruler. Christ will appear at the end of the millennium to lead his people into the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem.

Amillennialism

Amillennialism does not believe in a literal Millennium. The "thousand years" is an expression, a way of referring to the entire period from the first coming of Christ, two thousand years ago, until the future second coming. Many amillennialists believe that during this time period, the church will continue to evangelize and grow as well as suffer declination in periods until Christ’s coming. The Second Coming will be a natural culmination of the process of world evangelization, rather than a revolutionary event that brings sudden and dramatic change.

Interpretive and hermeneutical overviews of the Bible

The hermeneutic method held by an individual or church will greatly affect their interpretation of the book of Revelation, and consequently their eschatological scheme.

Supersessionist

Supersessionism is the belief that the New Covenant
New Covenant
The New Covenant is a concept originally derived from the Hebrew Bible. The term "New Covenant" is used in the Bible to refer to an epochal relationship of restoration and peace following a period of trial and judgment...

 in Christ supersedes, or replaces, the Old Covenant
Old Covenant
The Old Covenant was the name of the agreement which effected the union of Iceland and Norway. It is also known as Gissurarsáttmáli, named after Gissur Þorvaldsson, the Icelandic chieftain who worked to promote it. The name "Old Covenant", however, is probably due to historical confusion...

 with Israel. It comes in at least two forms: covenant theology
Covenant Theology
Covenant theology is a conceptual overview and interpretive framework for understanding the overall flow of the Bible...

 and kingdom theology
Kingdom theology
Kingdom theology is a system of Christian thought that elaborates on inaugurated eschatology, which is a way of understanding the various teachings on the kingdom of God found throughout the New Testament. It is often associated with the Vineyard movement...

. It was the predominant teaching of the church until the rise of dispensationalism
Dispensationalism
Dispensationalism is a nineteenth-century evangelical development based on a futurist biblical hermeneutic that sees a series of chronologically successive "dispensations" or periods in history in which God relates to human beings in different ways under different Biblical covenants.As a system,...

 in the 19th century.

Covenant theology

Hermeneutics
Usually Historical-grammatical typologised
Typology (theology)
Typology in Christian theology and Biblical exegesis is a doctrine or theory concerning the relationship between the Old and New Testaments...

 and contextualised
Contextualization (Bible translation)
In the field of Bible translation and interpretation, contextualization is the process of assigning meaning as a means of interpreting the environment within which a text or action is executed...

. There are three covenants
Covenant (biblical)
A biblical covenant is an agreement found in the Bible between God and His people in which God makes specific promises and demands. It is the customary word used to translate the Hebrew word berith. It it is used in the Tanakh 286 times . All Abrahamic religions consider the Biblical covenant...

, the Covenant of Works (or Law), the Covenant of Redemption and the Covenant of Grace.

Overview
Under the Covenant of Works mankind, represented ultimately in a covenantal sense under Adam beginning from the Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden is in the Bible's Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. Literally, the Bible speaks about a garden in Eden...

, failed to live as God intended and stood condemned. But beyond time the Covenant of Redemption was made between the Father and Son, to agree that Christ would live an acceptable substitutionary life on behalf of, and as a covenantal representative for, those who would sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

 but would trust in Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

 as their substitutionary atonement
Substitutionary atonement
Technically speaking, substitutionary atonement is the name given to a number of Christian models of the atonement that all regard Jesus as dying as a substitute for others, "instead of" them...

, which bought them into the Covenant of Grace. The Covenant of Grace applies to all who trust Christ for their salvation, regardless of ethnicity, and thus the Covenant covers Jews and Gentiles alike with regard to salvation
Salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

, sanctification
Sanctification
Sanctity is an ancient concept widespread among religions, a property of a thing or person sacred or set apart within the religion, from totem poles through temple vessels to days of the week, to a human believer who achieves this state. Sanctification is the act or process of acquiring sanctity,...

, and resurrection
Resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

. The Covenant of Grace forms the basis of the later covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and the New Covenant in Christ.

Adherents
Held by many evangelical
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 Reformed Protestant Churches who take a Historical-grammatical and typological interpretation of the Bible. Adherents would include the Reformed church, most of the Presbyterian church, some low church
Low church
Low church is a term of distinction in the Church of England or other Anglican churches initially designed to be pejorative. During the series of doctrinal and ecclesiastic challenges to the established church in the 16th and 17th centuries, commentators and others began to refer to those groups...

 Anglicans, some Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 churches, some Wesleyan/Methodist churches and certain Lutheran churches.

Kingdom-Dominion theology

Hermeneutics:
Similar to the covenantal system, but emphasizes the Kingdom of God rather than the three covenants. Exemplified in works such as Graeme Goldsworthy
Graeme Goldsworthy
Graeme Goldsworthy is an Australian Anglican theologian specialising in the Old Testament and Biblical Theology. He has authored several books including According to Plan and Preaching the whole Bible as Christian Scripture.The "Goldsworthy Trilogy":...

's Gospel and Kingdom. The Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 is interpreted using typology
Typology (theology)
Typology in Christian theology and Biblical exegesis is a doctrine or theory concerning the relationship between the Old and New Testaments...

 and the grammatico-historical method. Revelation is read according to the conventions of the apocalyptic
Apocalypse
An Apocalypse is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception, i.e. the veil to be lifted. The Apocalypse of John is the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament...

 genre.

Overview:
God's purpose for all time was to redeem for himself a people through the death and resurrection of Christ. The incarnation
Incarnation
Incarnation literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient creature who is the material manifestation of an entity, god or force whose original nature is immaterial....

 of Christ is the centrepoint of the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 and all history. The Old Testament is understood to contain a number of covenants and "types" which are fulfilled in the past and future work of Jesus.

Goldsworthy schematizes the Kingdom of God
Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven is a foundational concept in the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.The term "Kingdom of God" is found in all four canonical gospels and in the Pauline epistles...

 as the expression of God's rule over God's people in God's place. In the beginning, God himself ruled over Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were, according to the Genesis creation narratives, the first human couple to inhabit Earth, created by YHWH, the God of the ancient Hebrews...

 in the Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden is in the Bible's Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. Literally, the Bible speaks about a garden in Eden...

. After the fall, the rule of God was expressed through the Law
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

, the Judges
Biblical judges
A biblical judge is "a ruler or a military leader, as well as someone who presided over legal hearings."...

, the King of Israel and finally the promise that God would write his law on his people's hearts (Jer 31:33). "God's place" came to be the Tabernacle
Tabernacle
The Tabernacle , according to the Hebrew Torah/Old Testament, was the portable dwelling place for the divine presence from the time of the Exodus from Egypt through the conquering of the land of Canaan. Built to specifications revealed by God to Moses at Mount Sinai, it accompanied the Israelites...

 in the wilderness, later the Temple in Jerusalem
Temple in Jerusalem
The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...

, and finally the promise of the indwelling Spirit of God (Joel 2, Ezek 37). His "people" were Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

, the people of Israel, then the faithful remnant
Remnant (Bible)
The remnant is a recurring theme throughout the Hebrew and Christian Bible. The Anchor Bible Dictionary describes it as "What is left of a community after it undergoes a catastrophe."...

 of Israel, and finally the promised Messiah (Ps 2).

In the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, God's rule is exercised through Jesus Christ the King, who is also the temple of God (John 2:19-21), over his people the Church (of which Israel was a type). Salvation
Salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

 for all people in all times is found by trusting (explicitly or implicitly) in Jesus. Thus, Abraham, Moses, David, and all Christians today are saved by the same faith. The Jews are regarded as special in God's plan (as in Romans and Ephesians) and yet the Old Testament prophecies regarding Israel find their fulfillment in Jesus and the Church rather than in a literal restoration of Israel.

Adherents:
Held by reformed, evangelical
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 Protestants (especially Sydney Anglicans).

Approaches to Revelation:
Usually idealist and amillennial. Revelation describes what is happening throughout the Christian era, from Pentecost
Pentecost
Pentecost is a prominent feast in the calendar of Ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law on Sinai, and also later in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ after the Resurrection of Jesus...

 to the second coming
Second Coming
In Christian doctrine, the Second Coming of Christ, the Second Advent, or the Parousia, is the anticipated return of Jesus Christ from Heaven, where he sits at the Right Hand of God, to Earth. This prophecy is found in the canonical gospels and in most Christian and Islamic eschatologies...

. This view acknowledges that there may be valid preteristic connections (e.g. the seven hills = Rome) but the full understanding comes through an idealistic-historicism (but without necessarily seeing the Roman Catholic Church as the antichrist
Antichrist
The term or title antichrist, in Christian theology, refers to a leader who fulfills Biblical prophecies concerning an adversary of Christ, while resembling him in a deceptive manner...

). The events of the book, while not to be tied to particular historical events, still describe the sorts of things that will happen until Christ returns. The Book of Revelation is interpreted according to apocalyptic conventions regarding numbers and colours (7 = perfection/completion, white = victory) and the enormous number of allusions to the rest of Scripture.

Dispensational

Hermeneutics:
Interpretation as the literal, 'plain meaning' implies (i.e. rejection of typological
Typology (theology)
Typology in Christian theology and Biblical exegesis is a doctrine or theory concerning the relationship between the Old and New Testaments...

 and allegorical
Allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

 methods). Biblical references to Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 mean ancient and modern Israel.

Overview:
History is divided into (typically seven) "dispensations" where God tests man's obedience differently. The present Church dispensation concerns Christians (mainly Gentile
Gentile
The term Gentile refers to non-Israelite peoples or nations in English translations of the Bible....

s) and is a parenthesis to God's main plan of dealing with and blessing his chosen people the Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

. Because of the Jews' rejection of Jesus, Jewish sovereignty over the promised earthly kingdom of Jerusalem and Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 was postponed from the time of Christ's first coming until prior to or just after his Second Coming
Second Coming
In Christian doctrine, the Second Coming of Christ, the Second Advent, or the Parousia, is the anticipated return of Jesus Christ from Heaven, where he sits at the Right Hand of God, to Earth. This prophecy is found in the canonical gospels and in most Christian and Islamic eschatologies...

 when most or all Jews will embrace him.

There will be a rapture
Rapture
The rapture is a reference to the "being caught up" referred to in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, when the "dead in Christ" and "we who are alive and remain" will be caught up in the clouds to meet "the Lord"....

 of the Gentile church followed by a great tribulation of seven (or three-and-a-half) years' duration during which Antichrist will arise and Armageddon
Armageddon
Armageddon is, according to the Bible, the site of a battle during the end times, variously interpreted as either a literal or symbolic location...

 will occur. Then Jesus will return visibly to earth and re-establish the nation of Israel; the Jewish temple will be rebuilt at Jerusalem and the Temple mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

, possibly in place of the Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock is a shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The structure has been refurbished many times since its initial completion in 691 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik...

 (see Christian Zionism
Christian Zionism
Christian Zionism is a belief among some Christians that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land, and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, is in accordance with Biblical prophecy. It overlaps with, but is distinct from, the nineteenth century movement for the Restoration of the Jews...

). Christ and the people of Israel will reign in Jerusalem for a thousand years, followed by last judgment
Last Judgment
The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord in Christian theology, is the final and eternal judgment by God of every nation. The concept is found in all the Canonical gospels, particularly the Gospel of Matthew. It will purportedly take place after the...

 and a new heavens and new earth.

Adherents:
Held by groups who believe the scriptures to be inerrant
Biblical inerrancy
Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position that the Bible is accurate and totally free of error, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact." Some equate inerrancy with infallibility; others do not.Conservative Christians generally believe that...

 and often more Arminian leaning. Held by many Protestant groups who take what they believe is a more literal
Biblical literalism
Biblical literalism is the interpretation or translation of the explicit and primary sense of words in the Bible. A literal Biblical interpretation is associated with the fundamentalist and evangelical hermeneutical approach to Scripture, and is used almost exclusively by conservative Christians...

 interpretation of the Bible, including many, but not most, Pentecostal Charismatic and Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 churches and Independent and 'Non-denominational' churches as well as a few of the Presbyterian Church and Wesleyan/Methodist churches. Also held by most groups that are labelled Fundamentalists
Fundamentalist Christianity
Christian fundamentalism, also known as Fundamentalist Christianity, or Fundamentalism, arose out of British and American Protestantism in the late 19th century and early 20th century among evangelical Christians...

. The more politically active sections within this eschatological view often strongly support the Christian Zionism
Christian Zionism
Christian Zionism is a belief among some Christians that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land, and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, is in accordance with Biblical prophecy. It overlaps with, but is distinct from, the nineteenth century movement for the Restoration of the Jews...

 movement and the associated political, military and economic support for Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 which comes from certain groups within American politics and parts of the Christian right
Christian right
Christian right is a term used predominantly in the United States to describe "right-wing" Christian political groups that are characterized by their strong support of socially conservative policies...

.

This view is also held in a modified form by groups such as the Latter Day Saints, Christadelphians
Christadelphians
Christadelphians is a Christian group that developed in the United Kingdom and North America in the 19th century...

 and Adventist
Adventist
Adventism is a Christian movement which began in the 19th century, in the context of the Second Great Awakening revival in the United States. The name refers to belief in the imminent Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It was started by William Miller, whose followers became known as Millerites...

 splinter groups such as the Branch Davidians. One of the main tenets of Dispensationalism is the strict dichotomy that dispensationalists claim exists between Israel and the New Testament Church. This is expressly denied by Covenant Theologians who claim the existence of a relationship via “Spiritual Israel.” A dispensationalist would claim that none of the prophecies pertaining to Israel are or will be fulfilled in or by the New Testament Church. Covenant Theologians would claim that some of the prophecies pertaining to Israel are, will, or may be fulfilled in or by the New Testament Church. see supersessionism
Supersessionism
Supersessionism is a term for the dominant Christian view of the Old Covenant, also called fulfillment theology and replacement theology, though the latter term is disputed...

.

Approaches to Revelation:
  • Dispensational Futurism
    Futurism (Christian eschatology)
    Futurism is a Christian eschatological view that interprets the Book of Revelation, the Book of Daniel, the Olivet discourse and the parable of the Sheep and the Goats as future events in a literal, physical, apocalyptic, and global context...

     as opposed to Historic or Covenantal Futurism.
  • Dispensational Premillennialism
    Premillennialism
    Premillennialism in Christian end-times theology is the belief that Jesus will literally and physically be on the earth for his millennial reign, at his second coming. The doctrine is called premillennialism because it holds that Jesus’ physical return to earth will occur prior to the inauguration...

     as opposed to Historic or Covenantal Premillennialism.

Allegorical or mythical

Hermeneutics:
The Bible may or may not be factually accurate but is designed to teach spiritual lessons through allegory
Allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

 and myth
Mythology
The term mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece...

. The Bible is more literary than historical. Typically, this stance is taken by churches and individuals who do not place significant emphasis upon eschatology at all.

Adherents:
Held by Christian groups ranging from those who are Biblically inerrant
Biblical inerrancy
Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position that the Bible is accurate and totally free of error, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact." Some equate inerrancy with infallibility; others do not.Conservative Christians generally believe that...

 to liberal scholars who mostly belong to mainline Protestant denominations. Supporters of this position also include high church
High church
The term "High Church" refers to beliefs and practices of ecclesiology, liturgy and theology, generally with an emphasis on formality, and resistance to "modernization." Although used in connection with various Christian traditions, the term has traditionally been principally associated with the...

 Anglo-Catholic, Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

-leaning Lutherans, Eastern Orthodox churches, and traditional Roman Catholic groups. Belief in the allegorical interpretation of the Bible does not exclude belief in praxeological or literal hermeneutics. For example, Roman Catholic hermeneutics holds that there are many senses in which the Bible is true in addition to literal truth.

The Catholic Apostolic Church
Catholic Apostolic Church
The Catholic Apostolic Church was a religious movement which originated in England around 1831 and later spread to Germany and the United States. While often referred to as Irvingism, it was neither actually founded nor anticipated by Edward Irving. The Catholic Apostolic Church was organised in...

 believed that the Bible should be interpreted allegorically. Some descendants of the Catholic Apostolic Church
Catholic Apostolic Church
The Catholic Apostolic Church was a religious movement which originated in England around 1831 and later spread to Germany and the United States. While often referred to as Irvingism, it was neither actually founded nor anticipated by Edward Irving. The Catholic Apostolic Church was organised in...

 also known as Irvingism, such as Apostelamt Jesu Christi
Apostelamt Jesu Christi
Apostelamt Jesu Christi is a German Christian church with historical roots in the Catholic Apostolic Church and the New Apostolic Church...

, Apostelamt Juda, Restored Apostolic Mission Church
Restored Apostolic Mission Church
The Restored Apostolic Mission Church was a bible-believing, chiliastic church society in the Netherlands, Germany, South Africa and Australia. It came forth from the Catholic Apostolic Congregation at Hamburg that separated itself from the mother-church in 1863...

 and the Old Apostolic Church
Old Apostolic Church
The Old Apostolic Church is a Christian religious community, with historical roots in the Catholic Apostolic Church and the New Apostolic Church...

 also believes in the allegorical interpretation of the Bible.

Approaches to Revelation:
  • Allegorical Idealism, or
  • Catholic Partial preterism
  • Allegorical Amillennialism

Preterism v. Historicism

Expositors of the traditional Protestant interpretation of Revelation known as
Historicism
Historicism (Christian eschatology)
Historicism is a method of interpretation, in Christian eschatology, by associating biblical prophecies with actual historical events as well as identifying symbolic beings with historical persons or societies. In prophetic theology, the main texts of interest are apocalyptic literature such as the...

 have often maintained that Revelation was written in AD 96 and not
AD 70
Siege of Jerusalem (70)
The Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD was the decisive event of the First Jewish-Roman War. The Roman army, led by the future Emperor Titus, with Tiberius Julius Alexander as his second-in-command, besieged and conquered the city of Jerusalem, which had been occupied by its Jewish defenders in...

. Edward Bishop Elliott
Edward Bishop Elliott
Edward Bishop Elliott was an English clergyman and premillennarian writer.Edward Bishop Elliott graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1816. He was given the vicarage of Tuxford, Nottinghamshire in 1824 and later was made prebendary of Heytesbury, Wiltshire. In 1849 he became incumbent of St...

, in the Horae Apocalypticae
Horae Apocalypticae
Horae Apocalypticae is an eschatological study written by Edward Bishop Elliott. The book is, as its long-title sets out, "A commentary on the apocalypse, critical and historical; including also an examination of the chief prophecies of Daniel illustrated by an apocalyptic chart, and engravings...

(1862), argues that John wrote the book in exile on Patmos
Patmos
Patmos is a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea. One of the northernmost islands of the Dodecanese complex, it has a population of 2,984 and an area of . The highest point is Profitis Ilias, 269 meters above sea level. The Municipality of Patmos, which includes the offshore islands of Arkoi ,...

 "at the close of the reign of Domitian; that is near the end of the year 95 or beginning of 96". He notes that
Domitian was assassinated in September of 96. Elliot begins his lengthy review of historical evidence by quoting Irenaeus
Irenaeus
Saint Irenaeus , was Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, then a part of the Roman Empire . He was an early church father and apologist, and his writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology...

, a disciple of Polycarp
Polycarp
Saint Polycarp was a 2nd century Christian bishop of Smyrna. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp, he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to touch him...

. Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle John. Irenaeus mentions that the Apocalypse was seen "no very long time ago [but] almost in our own age, toward the end of the reign of Domitian".

Other historicists have seen no significance in the date that Revelation was written, and have even held to an early date while Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., makes an exegetical and historical argument for the pre-AD 70 composition of Revelation.

See also

  • 1 Maccabees
    1 Maccabees
    The First book of Maccabees is a book written in Hebrew by a Jewish author after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom, about the latter part of the 2nd century BC. The original Hebrew is lost and the most important surviving version is the Greek translation contained in the Septuagint...

  • Abomination (Bible)
    Abomination (Bible)
    Abomination is an English term used to translate the Biblical Hebrew terms shiqquwts and sheqets, which are derived from shâqats, or the terms , tōʻēḇā or to'e'va or ta'ev...

  • Apocalypticism
    Apocalypticism
    Apocalypticism is the religious belief that there will be an apocalypse, a term which originally referred to a revelation of God's will, but now usually refers to belief that the world will come to an end time very soon, even within one's own lifetime...

  • Bible prophecy
    Bible prophecy
    Bible prophecy or biblical prophecy is the prediction of future events based on the action, function, or faculty of a prophet. Such passages are widely distributed throughout the Bible, but those most often cited are from Ezekiel, Daniel, Matthew 24, Matthew 25, and Revelation.Believers in biblical...

  • Daniel's Vision of Chapter 8
    Daniel's Vision of Chapter 8
    Daniel 8 is the eighth chapter of the Book of Daniel of the Hebrew Bible. This chapter concerns Daniel’s second vision. According to the text, Daniel received his vision in the third year of king Belshazzar. In his vision, he saw himself at Susa , the capital near the river Ulai...

  • Daniel Chapter 11
    Daniel Chapter 11
    Daniel 11 is a chapter in the Book of Daniel. It describes a series of conflicts between various unidentified combatants typically labeled the King of the North and the King of the South. The narrative begins in Chapter 10 and concludes in Chapter 12....

  • Day-year principle
    Day-year principle
    The day-year principle, year-day principle or year-for-a-day principle is a method of interpretation of Bible prophecy in which the word day in apocalyptic prophecy is symbolic for a year of actual time. It is used principally by the historicist school of prophetic interpretation...

  • End times
    End times
    The end time, end times, or end of days is a time period described in the eschatological writings in the three Abrahamic religions and in doomsday scenarios in various other non-Abrahamic religions...

  • Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
    Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in the last book of the New Testament of the Bible, called the Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ to Saint John the Evangelist at 6:1-8. The chapter tells of a "'book'/'scroll' in God's right hand that is sealed with seven seals"...

  • Hades
    Hades
    Hades , Hadēs, originally , Haidēs or , Aidēs , meaning "the unseen") was the ancient Greek god of the underworld. The genitive , Haidou, was an elision to denote locality: "[the house/dominion] of Hades". Eventually, the nominative came to designate the abode of the dead.In Greek mythology, Hades...

  • Inaugurated eschatology
    Inaugurated eschatology
    Inaugurated eschatology is the belief in Christian theology that the end times were inaugurated in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and thus there are both "already" and "not yet" aspects to the Kingdom of God....

  • New Earth
    The New Earth
    The New Earth is an expression used in the Book of Isaiah , 2 Peter , and Book of Revelation in the Bible to describe the final state of redeemed humanity...

  • Progressive dispensationalism
    Progressive dispensationalism
    In evangelical Christian theology, progressive dispensationalism is a variation of traditional dispensationalism. All dispensationalists view the dispensations as chronologically successive. Progressive dispensationalists, in addition to viewing the dispensations as chronological successive, also...

  • Realized eschatology
    Realized eschatology
    Realized eschatology is a Christian eschatological theory popularized by C. H. Dodd that holds that the eschatological passages in the New Testament do not refer to the future, but instead refer to the ministry of Jesus and his lasting legacy...


Footnotes and references

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