Wrap-up of Nov 2, Week 6

Based on our discussion, my guess is that many of you found it difficult to wrap your heads around the world-view of apocalypticsim.  This is not surprising!  It’s a very odd way of looking at the world to our twenty-first century minds.  And that makes it rather hard to hear the storyline:  this was Jesus’ message.  He wasn’t providing advice about how to live in this world but in a world to come.  That’s the argument we take up next week!

One thought on “Wrap-up of Nov 2, Week 6

  1. I recall skimming Ehrman’s book when it first appeared, so it was not entirely new to me. But you did a good job placing apocalypticsim in the JSB context. Thanks.

    Will you later cover the ways Christians over time explained why the world did not end on time?

    Back in the 1970s I headed a joint Governor-Legislative task for on marriage and the family unit in Florida. Some members of the clergy opposed any changes that would protect wives, children and strengthen the family unit. These clergy seemed to be satisfied with the honor your father and mother commandment. They did not acknowledge (quoted from Ehrman):

    “You think that I have come to bring peace on earth; not peace, I tell you but division. For from now on there will be five people in one house, divided among themselves: three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother; a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. (Luke 12:51-53; Matt. 10:34-46; independently attested in G. Thom. 16).”

    Yes, I fully recognize that this is an intellectual history course, not one on public policy that extends biblical history into our contemporary politics. (Some politicians seem to have a different take on this.)

    I seem to recall that Ehrman limited his book to how early Christianity was shaped by apocalypticsim, not how the church leaders responded to the failed anticipation. Perhaps some church leaders read the record differently from what Ehrman and others understood. Or did the history of Christianity just ignore these founding beliefs?

    Perhaps that’s a question for a different course.

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