Re: [asa] A theology question (imminent return of Christ)

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Wed Oct 01 2008 - 21:55:56 EDT

Hi Ed,

We've already agreed that "soon" is prominent in the eschatological vocabulary of the first Christians - so you don't need to keep arguing the point.

Any lingering disagreement centers upon the question of whether or not "soon" was rightly taken to infer "in our lifetime." If, indeed, you've attempted to come to terms with the content of the posts on this thread you'd know that there are differences of view on this point and you shouldn't predicate your argument on the assumption of agreement.

Personally, I'd like your response to my queries about Christ's (apparent) prediction of a "second coming" at around the time of the temple destruction. On which I have two questions;

First, given the disciples didn't EXPECT Jesus death but considered that Messiah had ALREADY come - how could they understand his predictions about the destruction of the temple in terms of a "second coming"? Indeed, how could their question even relate to such a "second coming" at all?

Second, if Jesus' prophecies about his return at the time of the destruction of the temple "failed" are you saying that such sayings actually WERE prophecies spoken before the event? Or do you hold the view that these were written into the Gospel record AFTER the destruction of the temple? I think you ought to clarify this chronological relationship given its obvious importance to your entire argument.

Murray Hogg
Pastor, East Camberwell Baptist Church, Victoria, Australia
Post-Grad Student (MTh), Australian College of Theology

Edward T. Babinski wrote:
> Hi guys,
> The starting point for me was to read the verses for myself.
> Take a couple of verses found in the New Testament book of Jude which quotes 1 Enoch 1:9 (written in the 3rd Century B.C.E.) using that verse to buttress the author's prediction that God was going to send "his holy ones" to judge "all" including those who had crept into the church in the letter writer's own day:
> “Certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for condemnation... It was also about these that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied saying, ‘See, the Lord is coming with ten thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment on all, to convict everyone of all the deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him’” (Jude 14 = 1 Enoch 1:9) [Jude 4,14-15]
> Are the verses above speaking, or not speaking, about an event that was predicted long ago (by "Enoch, the seventh from Adam"], a "coming" predicted from "long beforehand," a "coming" to judge "all" including ungodly folks who had already crept into the church in Jude's day?
> The Book of Enoch is agreed by many scholars to have been a pseudepigraphical work written in the name of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, about his trips to heaven and what he saw there (he also spied a definitely flat earth there ). So no one believes the book of Enoch was actually written by "Enoch the seventh from Adam," but the author of the above N.T. scripture believes such words applied to his own day as a prediction of a soon coming final judgment of "all."
> Neither are N.T. scholars certain that the scripture known as "Letter of Jude" was composed by "Jude" an apostle. Many argue it is a letter written in the name of "Jude," in which case we have a pseudepigraphical work titled, "Jude," that cites another pseudepigraphical work, "The Book of Enoch," with the intention of adding clout to the letter's prediction of soon coming judgment via citing an ancient prophecy.
> There may even be a connection between The Book of Enoch's "seventy generations before judgment day," and the Book of Luke's belief in a soon coming final judgment:
> "One of the five parts of 1st Enoch is the so-called 'Book of the Watchers', which was written in the 3rd century B.C.E. It describes the fall of Azazel and his final judgment "seventy generations" after Enoch's day (Enoch being the narrator of the tale below):
> 'And the Lord said to [the arch-angel] Raphael: "Bind [the rebel] Azazel hand and foot and throw him into the darkness!" And Raphael made a hole in the desert, which was in Dudael, and cast him there. On top of him, he threw rugged and sharp rocks. And he covered Azazel's face in order that they may not see light and [...] may be sent into the fire on the great day of judgment. [...] And to Michael the Lord said: "[...] Bind them for SEVENTY GENERATIONS underneath the rocks of the ground until the day of their judgment is concluded."' (1 Enoch 10.4-6, 11-12; tr. E. Isaac)
> "In other words, the day of judgment was to take place SEVENTY GENERATIONS after Enoch. Now this patriarch, 'Enoch' was recorded as having lived in 'the seventh generation from Adam,' and we may therefore conclude that the author of the Book of the Watchers assumed that the end of history would be in the 'seventy-seventh generation from Adam,' or the seventieth generation from Enoch.
> "Back to Luke. By making Jesus of Nazareth the 'seventy-seventh' of the list in his genealogies, the author of that Gospel [Luke] is obviously playing with these Enochian thoughts. What he is in fact saying is that... the last judgment is very, very near. After all, when Luke composed his gospel during the persecution by the emperor Domitian, there were only a few survivors of the generation of Jesus."
> -- Jona Lendering, "The 77 Generations"

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Received on Tue Oct 21 21:57:29 2008

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