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Stars Will Fall From Heaven : Cosmic Catastrophe and the World's End in the New Testament and Its World - Edward Adams

Stars Will Fall From Heaven

Cosmic Catastrophe and the World's End in the New Testament and Its World

Hardcover

Published: 28th June 2007
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The aim of this book is to establish and explore New Testament belief in the end of the world through an investigation of texts which - on the face of it - contain 'end of the world' language. It engages with recent discussion on how Jewish and early Christian 'end of the world' was meant to be understood, and interacts especially with N.T. Wright's proposals. The first part of the book is given over to background and focuses on the Old Testament, Jewish apocalyptic and related literature and Graeco-Roman sources. The latter have seldom been brought into play in previous discussion. The author shows that the Stoic material is especially relevant. The second part of the book concentrates on the New Testament evidence and explores in detail all the key texts. The pertinent texts are analyzed in terms of the kind of the 'end of the world' language they use - language of cosmic cessation, of catastrophe and conflagration. The main aim of the exegesis is to establish the extent to which the language is meant objectively, but there is further exploration of issues arising from the notions of the end of the world where they are deemed to be present, including whether the idea of the world's dissolution implies a rejection of the created order. The conclusion explores the implications of the theme of the end of the world for Christian theology and ethics, and discusses especially, the ramifications for environmental ethics.

"This is an important book on an important - and surprisingly neglected - subject: the cosmic catastrophe language that forms part of the New Testament's eschatology. Through a detailed and scholarly examination of the relevant texts and traditions, Jewish, Greco-Roman, and New Testament, Edward Adams argues, in critical dialogue with N.T. Wright in particular, that the New Testament writers, in varied ways, did envisage an impending destruction of the physical cosmos, followed by its recreation. The findings and arguments of this book are significant not only for our understanding of early Christian eschatology in its historical context, but also for any attempt to use the biblical material in articulating contemporary Christian eschatology or environmental responsibility. Adams' book will be an essential point of reference for all such discussion." David G. Horrell, Reader in New Testament Studies, University of Exeter, UK."

Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xv
Abbreviationsp. xvii
Biblical and Other Ancient Sourcesp. xvii
Abbreviations of Periodicals and Seriesp. xix
Additional Abbreviations Usedp. xx
Introductionp. 1
Previous Studyp. 3
N.T. Wright, Language of Cosmic Catastrophe and the End of the Space-Time Universep. 5
Preliminary Evaluative Remarksp. 10
The Aims, Approach and Structure of this Bookp. 16
Clarifications and Distinctionsp. 20
The Comparative Context
The Old Testamentp. 25
The Genesis Flood Storyp. 25
The Created World Destined to Endp. 28
Genesis 8.22p. 28
Psalm 46.1-3p. 29
Psalm 102.25-27p. 30
Isaiah 51.6p. 31
Other Viewpoints on Creation's Futurep. 32
The Created World an Enduring Structurep. 32
The Created World to be Transformed and Made Newp. 34
Language of Global and Cosmic Catastrophe in Prophetic Discoursep. 35
Global/Cosmic Catastrophe Language in Oracles against Specific Placesp. 36
Global/Cosmic Disaster Language in Oracles that are More Obviously 'Eschatological'p. 44
Conclusionsp. 50
Jewish Apocalyptic and Related Literaturep. 52
1 Enochp. 54
The Book of the Watchers (1 Enoch 1-36)p. 55
The Similitudes of Enoch (1 Enoch 37-71)p. 58
The Astronomical Book (1 Enoch 72-82)p. 59
The Dream Visions (1 Enoch 83-90)p. 61
The Apocalypse of Weeks (1 Enoch 93.1-10; 91.11-17)p. 62
The Epistle of Enoch (1 Enoch 91-107)p. 64
Pseudo-Sophocles, Fragment 2p. 66
Jubileesp. 68
1 QH 11.19-36p. 69
Testament of Mosesp. 71
Testament of Jobp. 74
Biblical Antiquitiesp. 76
Fourth Ezrap. 78
Second Baruchp. 84
Apocalypse of Zephaniahp. 85
Second Enochp. 86
The Sibylline Oraclesp. 88
Sibylline Oracles Book 3p. 88
Sibylline Oracles Book 4p. 92
Sibylline Oracles Book 5p. 93
Anti-Cosmic Dualism in the Sibylline Oracles?p. 96
Conclusionsp. 96
Eschatological Texts Employing Language of Global and Cosmic Catastrophep. 96
Texts Envisaging 'Preliminary' Celestial Disturbancesp. 98
Non-Catastrophic Texts Envisaging the End of the Present Created Worldp. 98
Texts Envisaging the Non-catastrophic Transformation of the Cosmosp. 99
The End of the Present Created World in Jewish Apocalyptic and Related Writingsp. 99
Graeco-Roman Sourcesp. 101
Cosmic Upheaval in the Mythical Pastp. 101
The Presocratics and the End of the Cosmosp. 104
Plato and Aristotle on the Indestructibility of the Cosmosp. 107
The Epicurean View of the End of the Cosmosp. 109
The Stoic View of the End of the Cosmosp. 114
Cosmic Generationp. 114
Cosmic Conflagrationp. 116
The Cosmic Cyclep. 118
The Stoic Defence of the Destructibility of the Cosmosp. 120
Stoic Portrayals of the Cosmic Catastrophep. 122
Belief in the Catastrophic End of the Cosmos in the First Century CEp. 125
Conclusionsp. 126
New Testament 'Cosmic Catastrophe' Texts
'The Powers of Heaven Will Be Shaken': Mark 13.24-27 + Parallelsp. 133
The 'Eschatological' Discourse of Mark 13p. 134
Readings of Mark 13.24-25p. 137
Introduction and First Section of the Discourse: Mark 13.1-23(24a)p. 139
The Coming of the Son of Man: Mark 13.26-27p. 147
The Language of Cosmic Catastrophe in Mark 13.24-25p. 153
Identifying the Old Testament Influencesp. 154
The Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple?p. 155
Illumination by Comparisonp. 158
The Catastrophic End of the Cosmos? Reading Mark 13.24-25 in Association with 13.31p. 161
Timing of the Catastrophe and Consequences of the End of the Cosmos in Markp. 164
Timescalep. 164
Consequencesp. 165
Creational Consequencesp. 166
Eschatological Consequencesp. 166
Practical Consequencesp. 166
Matthew's Version of the Discoursep. 166
Matthew's Parallel to Mark 13.24-25 (Matthew 24.29)p. 169
Timing of the Catastrophe and Consequences of the End of the Cosmos in Matthewp. 171
Timescalep. 171
Consequencesp. 171
Creational Consequencesp. 171
Eschatological Consequencesp. 171
Practical Consequencesp. 172
Luke's Version of the Discoursep. 172
Luke's Parallel to Mark 13.24-25 (Luke 21.25-26)p. 175
Timing of the Catastrophe and Consequences of the End of the Cosmos in Lukep. 178
Timescalep. 178
Consequencesp. 179
Creational Consequencesp. 179
Eschatological Consequencesp. 179
Practical Consequencesp. 180
Conclusionsp. 180
'I Will Shake Not Only the Earth But Also the Heaven': Hebrews 12.25-29p. 182
The Citation of Psalm 102.25-27 in Hebrews 1.10-12p. 183
The Shaking of Heaven and Earth: Hebrews 12.25-29p. 185
Hebrews 12.25-29p. 186
Objections to an 'End of the Cosmos' Interpretation of Hebrews 12.26-27p. 191
Timing and Consequences of the Catastrophic End of the Cosmosp. 194
Timescalep. 194
Consequencesp. 194
Creational Consequencesp. 194
Eschatological Consequencesp. 197
Practical Consequencesp. 198
Conclusionsp. 198
'The Elements Will Melt with Fire': 2 Peter 3.5-13p. 200
The Complaint of the 'Scoffers' in 2 Peter 3.4p. 202
'Where is the Promise of His Coming?'p. 203
'Since the Fathers fell asleep'p. 204
'All things remain'p. 206
Summaryp. 209
The Present Heavens and Earth Reserved for Fire: 2 Peter 3.5-7p. 209
Exegetical Issuesp. 210
The Utilization of Stoic Cosmologyp. 216
The Arguments of 2 Peter 3.5-7p. 218
The Fiery Destruction of the Existing Cosmos: 2 Peter 3.10-12p. 221
'The heavens will pass away with a loud noise'p. 222
'The elements will be dissolved in the heat'p. 222
'The earth and the works in it will be found'p. 224
Recapitulation in 2 Peter 3.11-12p. 229
Concluding Observationsp. 230
Timing and Consequences of the Catastrophic End of the Cosmosp. 230
Timescalep. 230
Consequencesp. 231
Creational Consequencesp. 231
Eschatological Consequencesp. 233
Practical Consequencesp. 233
Conclusionsp. 234
'Heaven Vanished Like a Scroll Rolled Up': Revelation 6.12-27p. 236
The Dissolution and Re-Creation of the World: Revelation 21.1p. 237
The Great Day of Wrath: Revelation 6.12-17p. 239
Old Testament Influencesp. 240
Similar Images Elsewhere in Revelationp. 241
Comparison with Mark 13.24-25 + Parallelsp. 242
Socio-political Upheaval, Preliminary Woes or Catastrophic Intervention?p. 243
The Catastrophic End of the Cosmos?p. 246
Timing of the Catastrophe and Consequences of the End of the Cosmosp. 248
Timescalep. 248
Consequencesp. 248
Creational Consequencesp. 248
Eschatological Consequencesp. 249
Practical Consequencesp. 250
Conclusionsp. 251
Conclusionsp. 252
Summary of Main Findingsp. 252
Significance for An Understanding of New Testament Cosmic Eschatologyp. 256
Significance for Environmental Ethicsp. 257
Bibliographyp. 260
Indexp. 281
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780567089120
ISBN-10: 0567089126
Series: Library of New Testament Studies
Audience: BAC
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 28th June 2007
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 16.9  x 2.79
Weight (kg): 0.63
Edition Number: 1