Article

Ancient Jewish and Early Christian Millennialism

James D. Tabor

in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780195301052
Published online January 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195301052.003.0013

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Ancient Jewish and Early Christian Millennialism

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This article focuses on ancient Jewish and early Christian millennialism, which are found to be intrinsically inconsistent—there are no specific pointers towards marking the end of time; messianic figures appear in some texts and not in others; and God is humanized in some while others are exclusively emphatic on the transcendental paradigm. It makes the whole millennialist gamut essentially subjective. The groundwork was laid by the pre-Hellenic invasions of Israel and the context for the emergence of Jewish millennialism was provided by the widespread suppression under Greek emperor Antiochus. This article demonstrates that from the second and third centuries onwards, the trend increasingly tended from literal expressions towards symbolic subjective millennialism, to the extent that the former was considered inferior.

Keywords: Christian millennialism; transcendental paradigm; Antiochus; symbolic; pre-Hellenic invasions; Jewish millennialism

Article.  7627 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity ; Judaism and Jewish Studies ; Religious Studies

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