Review of Paroschi: Jesus’ Eschatological Legacy


Wilson Paroschi, NAD, Southern Adventist University

“Jesus’ Eschatological Legacy: The Tension between the Nearness of the Second Coming and the Mission of the Church” Scholars generally agree that eschatology lies at the very heart of Luke’s purpose in writing his twin volumes. The predominant concept, sometimes called the “classic” theory, relates that purpose with the delay of the Parousia. The idea is that the eschatological consummation announced by Jesus as imminent, and so expected by early believers, had become such a major source of anxiety for the church that Luke decided to give a definitive answer for it: he abandoned the belief in Jesus’ soon return altogether and, by conceiving the church’s world mission, pushed the final consummation into the distant future. This presentation does not intend to provide a detailed analysis of this theory. Instead, it argues that though Luke does admit a delayed fulfillment of the church’s hope associated with the preaching of the gospel, he has not entirely done away with the idea of an imminent end, and the tension between both concepts was conceived by Jesus Himself—rather than being redactionally fabricated—to keep the church healthy and faithful. The discussion centers on the book of Acts.




Van Wyk Notes:

The Editor of the Scriptures is the Holy Spirit and He makes sure that what goes in as content is not fabricated data by humans or slanted either. It is not propaganda of their own ideas nor that of their friends or networks or patriotism. It is what God wants to get across to people.

Therefore, one should guard not to let theories of historiographical methodology and literature analytical theories come in play with analyzing the Word of God.

Luke was following common practices of doing a thorough historiography of his time. He did it the way they expected it should be done with care. That is why the Holy Spirit chose him.

He did not believe that Christ would come quickly and then got disillusioned and abandoned the short coming for a later one as Albert Schweitzer and his followers are trying to portray.

When he was writing in Luke 21:21 about the Roman armies around Jerusalem in lingua that look like Matthew 24:14 about the abomination of desolation being set up, it was not to make it identical. Rather, Matthew and Mark focused on Daniel 9:27 and Luke on Daniel 9:26. Both 70 A.D. (Daniel 9:26) and 538 A.D.ff. (Daniel 9:27) are relevant. Modern scholars missed the point and try to equalize Luke 21:21 with Matthew 24:14 but careful reading is called for. It will create kakophonia and chaos if the two are equated and the Word of God will be made a laughingstock.

Readers of the Word of God are the ones who one should laugh at. They slip up in their analysis of fine detail and nuances. Finally one sees that they did not conceive of the end as immanent as R. F. Cottrell argued in his Spectrum article of 1973 for Jesus, Paul, Peter and John but that the analyzers of these texts misunderstood what they meant. They are using a common expression of those days that in our language sounds different than what they conceived of it. Semantics variations due to generation gap (they and us) is the problem here. Not the original Word of God.

Koot van Wyk