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Durham e-Theses
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The Parousia in the New Testament

Moore, A. L. (1964) The Parousia in the New Testament. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The traditional belief that Christ will come again to judge both the quick and the dead' has been subjected to severe criticism in recent times. It has been regarded as part of Tesus inheritance from his situation as the misunderstanding of the disciples falsely attributing to their Lord their own expectations and as something to be demythologized. This thesis suggests that the belief in Christ's return to the world at the End belongs to the very fabric of the early church's life and thought, and (as far as this can be reconstructed) it belongs to Jesus’ own teaching. By far the greatest problem presented by the New Testament's Parousia hope is the insistence on its imminent fulfilment. This imminence is often understood as due to the disciples. Sometimes it is regarded as an error, albeit relatively unimportant, on Jesus' part. These views are examined and found unsatisfactory. The thesis then reviews the relevant New Testament material and suggests that the early church certainty did hold an imminent hope, but that this was not delimited (that is, the church did not think that the Parousia would certainly occur within a certain defined period of time) The imminence is rather to be understood as the conviction that since Christ had come, the revelation of the Kingdom of God in power could not be thought of as far off. Likewise, it is suggested, Jesus himself awaited the revelation of the Son of Man in glory as an imminent event, but refused to delimit its occurrence. The thesis suggests that the New Testament’s insistence on the nearness of the Parousia is because undelimited valid for the church today, and should encourage her to urgent mission and to patient watchfulness.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1964
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 15:37

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