Words Can't Describe It


One of the challenges we'll have over the next four weeks at Gathering is a shared vocabulary for what we'll be talking about. The apocalypse. Eschatology. Millennium. Rapture. On and on it will go! Let me recommend a couple of resources as we get started, then let's plunge in head-first!

InterVarsity Press publishes a very helpful set of very tiny dictionaries called The Pocket Dictionary of.... The reason I really like these tools is how brief the entries are and how quickly you can find stuff in them. Here's a quick link to this series:

IV Press Theological Dictionaries

Let's take a look at just two entries that will help us get started. If you would do me a huge favor and swat me your questions about end-times words and ideas. We can start getting some definitions out to you. In fact this week, we're planning on the first installment of a running glossary of terms you'll find helpful as we study end times and the apocalypse.

Eschatology

A Greek-derived term that means the study of (or belief about) the last times (Gk eschatos, "last [things]"). In the OT we find eschatological thought especially in the Prophets, with their use of the phrases "day of the Lord" or "in that day." For Israel’s prophets, that day would be a time of judgment by God for the disobedience of Israel (Amos 5:18-20). However, the prophets also saw a time of restoration from the judgment when a remnant would return to the land of Israel in faithful obedience to God (Hos 14:1–7). NT eschatology picks up on these images and, by combining them with apocalyptic thought, extends them to speak of the time when God will bring about the end of the old age and the beginning of the new, when even death itself will have no power and God will dwell in the midst of creation (Rev 21:1–5).

Patzia, Arthur G. ; Petrotta, Anthony J.: Pocket Dictionary of Biblical Studies. Downers Grove, Ill. : InterVarsity Press, 2002, S. 43

Apocalypse

Literally, an "unveiling" or "revelation." The term is employed in the opening words in the last book of the Bible, "The revelation [apokalypsis] of Jesus Christ" (Rev 1:1). It is also used by interpreters to describe certain "revelatory" parts of the book of Daniel, such passages as Isaiah 24–27 and Mark 13, and some noncanonical books.

Patzia, Arthur G. ; Petrotta, Anthony J.: Pocket Dictionary of Biblical Studies. Downers Grove, Ill. : InterVarsity Press, 2002, S. 13

Hit reply and send me your questions or swat me an e-mail. See you Sunday! Don't forget...bring your crossword puzzle (see previous post)!