The development of Pauline thought concerning Last Things and its message today

Ballard, Ronald D (1971) The development of Pauline thought concerning Last Things and its message today. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The main divisions of this work are: Influences on Pauline Thought, Pauline Concept of Last Things, and Pauline Eschatology for Today. Pauline eschatology is not without antecedents in Paul's background. The Old Testament and Intertestamental literature provides excellent opportunity for tracing the progressive development of Jewish eschatology. From an early henotheistic view of God with well-defined limitations, Israel's concept of Jehovah expanded to one of universal proportions. This expanding concept of God made it necessary for Israel to refine considerably her thought concerning the life to come. The Christian doctrines of Second Coming, Judgment, Resurrection, Intermediate State and Final Destiny all have counterparts in Jewish eschatology. Paul was equally an innovator and a creature of his Hebraic past. An examination of the major areas of Pauline eschatology reveals the Apostle's heavy dependence upon Jewish apocalyptic imagery when speaking of Last Things. Greek thought was the other major influence of Paul's pre-Christian life. Its most direct contribution is noted in the doctrine of Resurrection. Yet an overall indebtedness becomes evident as one traces the varying concepts of life to come among the major pre-Platonic poets, Plato, the Stoics, Epicureans and finally the Mystery Religions. Traces of Hellenistic influence, while more apparent in reference to the resurrection, are found to some extent in all areas of Paul's worldview. As one continues the study of Pauline thought certain limitations become obvious. The symbolism and imagery, for instance, so much a part of the first century, demand contemporary expression and interpretation. In this sense there is a need for demythologizing. Yet the enduring message of Pauline eschatology, when clothed in contemporary expression, conveys relevant and timeless truths. At the center of this message lies a three-fold affirmation: the God who revealed himself in history has come to us in the present and will one day consummate his work in the future.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: William Barclay
Keywords: Theology
Date of Award: 1971
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1971-73927
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/73927

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