Monday, March 03, 2008

Biblical Eschatology?

What is your view of “Eschatology” or “End Times?”

This is the study of our Christian beliefs concerning all future and final events, such as Jesus’ Second coming and the final judgment.

How sure are you that your view is correct?

Did you know, it all comes down to this point: do you read into the text what you want it to say? Or do you read from the text what God’s Word has to say? How does this make you feel?

So how can we get a better idea what Scripture really tells us about end times? To read into it our preconceived views? Or perhaps read the Bible as what it says in context, word meanings, historical, cultural and genre considerations of the passage, thus with this method you get what is the actual meaning.

This is also called “Exegetical Eschatology,” meaning “to draw from,” for serious or critical examination of a text of Scripture for the purpose of explanation, clarification, and interpretation. For the authentic Christian, it provides a better framework of God’s principles and can be a shredder for its critics—as in those who oppose faith and reason or the Truth of Christ and His principles. This is done by examining the facts, details, and essence of a Bible text before making any conclusions.

This means we engage the text with careful exegesis, uninhibited by theological prejudice, with an inductive process with open minds to discover God’s lessons for us.

What does the original language, genre, and cultural analysis do, considering the original hearers of this work?

What did that term mean to John and those seven churches, or what was Jesus saying in Matthew chapter twenty-four, not just what we may think it means today.

Otherwise, our preconceived ideas will form our opinions rather than what the Word actually says. This is how the Reformers, Calvin and Luther, did their studies (although they subscribed to the Historicist view), as well as Augustine (who was mostly a Futurist, but not like the Futurists today) and other great men. They were seeking His revealed truth inductively, applying literal interpretation (if the genre allows), and historical and grammatical exegesis, not mere human speculations and traditions. This is what we seek to do at Into Thy Word.

How do you think we should do this and does that thought line up with Scripture?


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