Response to skippercollector (Original post)
Thu May 17, 2012, 06:06 AM
deadinsider (201 posts)
16. Apocalypse is the evolution of earlier Judeo-Christian thinking...
It all starts with explaining suffering. And as the answers really didn't provide every day real human beings with meaning - the answer had to evolve.
It may have been that you sinned, or to make you a stronger person, but suffering was some type of judgment. Understand in this first phase of questioning, there was no heaven and hell. Orthodox Jews don't believe that stuff: everyone, good and bad, goes to Sheol.
Among this first phase were the prophets who berated the people for going against God's will. Remember, prophet in the Bible is essentially a critic of contemporary society - not a fortune teller. Not until the last book of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) does Daniel start offering visions of the future (don't bring up Amos or the others; it wasn't future stuff - read within the context!).
Then, it was that the good and the bad would get their due; but here, on the Earth. See the first view of why we suffer wasn't working out so well for a lot of our ancestors in the Hebrew faith. But don't worry: Jesus comes along, as well as John the Baptist, claiming Jews have fallen away from God's law but something is gonna change. Rather than you questioning how your 3 year old kid, with a loose grasp on reality, could 'sin' so badly that he suffered death from a vicious disease, now all would be made aright.
But Jesus wasn't promising 'Heaven' per se; not up there, but down here on Earth he said a new kingdom would overthrow all the evil in the world. And get this: he was talking about his timeframe, not ours: he told his disciples that some of them would see the day the Kingdom arrived before their death. In fact, he talked like that a bunch.
Well, Jesus got crucified, and his posse sat there waiting. And waiting. But that Kingdom on Earth didn't quite materialize. Big bummer if you were following him. So what to do...
Finally, Christians (especially through Paul) developed the idea that: No, suffering isn't just because you're sinful or crappy; it's not just cause you suffer it here but then a great utopia will fall upon your head and smite those who exploited you...
Now the Christians when vertical, rather than horizontal: you will be rewared AFTER death. Forget that stuff that Jesus and Paul (the bulk of the New Testament) were saying. Now you'll see when your brain and heart quit: rewards for the good, punishment for the bad.
That's the evolution in Judeo-Christian religion; not a perfect summary, but good enough to be understood. Hopefully...
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Apocalypse is the evolution of earlier Judeo-Christian thinking...
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