Old Testament Eschatology

On Thursday I turned in my final paper for my Advanced Introduction to the New Testament class.  The paper was called: “The Eschatology of the Old Testament: A Case Study in Ezekiel 40 – 48”.  If you don’t know, “eschatology” comes from the Greek word “eschaton” which means “end”.  So “eschatology” is a theology of the end.  What happens at the end?  People have been asking this question for a long time.  It’s a very interesting subject because the canonized Hebrew Bible does not have the fully developed eschatologies that Judaism and Christianity would later see.  Ezekiel 40-48 is of particular interest given the way that the writer of Revelation leaned massively on it.  I have posted my paper for you here if you are interested to read it.  If you do subject yourself to it here is what I recommend: first read through Ezekiel 40-48, and then second, keep your bible out because you’ll also want to read other passages to which I refer (Jer 31, Zech 14, etc).

If anyone is brave enough to read it, I’d love to know your thoughts.



Old Testament Eschatology – Ezek 40 – 48

P.S. Yes, I do know there are a few errors in the paper.  I missed them before I turned it in.


5 thoughts on “Old Testament Eschatology

  1. I’m looking into doing my final paper in my Systematic Theology 2 class on The Eschatology of the Old Testament. However, I feel that it would be too broad. Any suggestions for 1. Sources and 2. Ways of narrowing down the subject?

    • This reply is probably hitting you too late, but I hope this helps: when I wrote this paper, I wanted to do “Eschatology in the Old Testament,” but that subject is obviously much too broad. In my paper, I narrowed it down to the eschatology regarding the temple in Ezekiel 40-48. So I picked a subsection of eschatology and then I picked a case study. The paper compares the expectations of the eschatological temple in Ezekiel 40-48 with eschatological temple expectations found in other prophetic material. Look at my paper’s Works Cited for some sources.


  2. Hey, this is great. I am doing a small bible study group (not class-related) and we are each doing quick presentations on themes in the old testament. As mine is Eschatology, this paper really helped me start out (and was pretty well-written!) Thanks!

    • Hey Sarah. I’m really glad that this was of real use to someone studying the Bible. Sometimes I wonder if some of my more esoteric scholarship will actually hit the ground somewhere. Thanks for telling me. :)


  3. James,

    I enjoyed your paper. I’m teaching a class at my church where we are looking at the overarching story of redemptive history. We just got through the Babylonian captivity last Sunday, and will look at the return to the land and some of the prophets next Sunday (especially prophets dealing with the new covenant and eschatology). I hope to be able to draw on your paper for some ideas as I pull stuff together.

    I recall on my first trip to Israel that our guide mentioned the fishing net found in a cave near Ein-Gedi from the time of the Bar-Kochva revolt. Why would anyone take a fishing net near the Dead Sea? His interpretation (which makes sense to me) was that the followers of Bar-Kochva were thinking of this passage in Ezekiel, and that as the Messiah he would usher in the time when the river of living water would cause the Dead Sea to live again.

    I keep a blog with class notes from my Sunday morning class. Check it out some time here: http://faithofjesus.wordpress.com


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s