Johneschatology - JOHANNINE ESCHATOLOGY: I. Introduction:...

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JOHANNINE ESCHATOLOGY: I. Introduction: The Future O is Now: Robert Kysar describes the focus of Johannine Eschatology with the catchy phrase "the future is now." 1 This parallels, in a way the tension between "the already and the not yet" which was so much a part of the Kingdom of God in the synoptic witness. In a similar way, the Johannine tradition raises the question as to whether salvation is to be found in the future alone, or whether it is also to be experienced in the present. As Ladd points out so well, it is the Johannine Eschatology that puts the distinct aspects of John vs. the synoptics into sharpest focus. In the synoptics, Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God; in John the phrase "Kingdom of God" occurs only twice (3:3, 5). In deed, the central message of the Johannine Jesus is that of "eternal life." In John the dramatic interventions of the Olivet Discourse (Mt. 24) seemed to have been replaced by the upper room discourse (ch. 13-16) which stressed the coming of the Holy Spirit and an entrance into the "heavenly mansions" which make up our father's house. In summary, as G. E. Ladd points out, the prevailing structure in the synoptic perspective is one that recognizes a "vertical" dualism -- above and below -- (Mt. 5:12; 6:1, 20), but includes an "eschatological dualism (present/future) as well. The emphasis in the synoptics was upon the eschatological dualism (present/future), whereas in John there is an ongoing recognition of the eschatological (present/ future) with the Gospel's main stress falling upon the vertical (above/below). [Ladd, 338-40] The eschatological structure of John is made up of three different, but inter-related "eschatologies:" II. Johannine Futurism : There are numerous aspects of the Johannine perspective which fit well with the traditional NT, futuristic eschatology. Among these are: i) Judgment (12:48); ii) Eternal Life (12:25); iii) Resurrection (6:39-40; 6:54); iv) Parousia (14:3; 14:18; 14:28); v) Tribulations that will signal the coming of the Messiah and the end of the age (ch. 15-16). These elements form a rather coherent "futuristic eschatology" in John. Judgment will come on the last day of history (12:48). There will be a resurrection of the dead on that decisive day (6:39-40; 6:54). This future resurrection and judgment are closely associated with one another (5:28). To this add the fact that John seems to look for a future coming again of Christ (chapter 14). This picture is further filled out by references in chapters 15 and 16 to the tribulations that will be experienced at the end times. In Jewish thought, just before the
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Johneschatology - JOHANNINE ESCHATOLOGY: I. Introduction:...

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