Sunday, 15 May 2011

Traditional Catholic theologians on courtship and engagement

Following my recent posts on traditional Catholic teaching on marriage, I now move on to the subject of premarital behaviour, including engagement (betrothal).

Sunday, 8 May 2011

The lost Golden Age

I have been looking recently at eschatology - the beliefs put forward by religious and secular belief systems regarding what will happen at the end of the world.

Also interesting, however, are the beliefs put forward regarding the lost Golden Age from which the present-day world is thought to have degenerated.  It is sometimes thought that the apocalypse at the end of time will bring about a restoration of these primaeval conditions.

Apocalyptic beliefs - A summary

In recent posts, I have been examining the apocalyptic beliefs found in Judaism, Christianity, other religions and secular political ideologies.  It's now time to sum up.

The messiah and the apocalypse outside Judaism and Christianity

The themes that I have been exploring in Judaeo-Christian apocalyptic literature are found in other religious and secular belief systems too.  Interestingly, this appears to be equally the case whether time is seen in those systems as being linear or cyclical.

Themes in apocryphal apocalyptic writings

In this post, I want to track the main themes found in some Judaeo-Christian apocalyptic writings outside the Bible (and in the Book of Daniel).  These writings form part of the apocalyptic tradition extending from the Hebrew Bible to the New Testament and beyond.

Apocalyptic literature in the New Testament

There are several examples in the New Testament of apocalyptic literature (see also here).

Apocalyptic literature in the Old Testament

I talked in an earlier post about the apocalyptic tradition in Judaeo-Christian literature.  This is the literary genre that deals with the end of the world and the dramatic events that were expected to accompany it.  Its best known expression in the later Christian tradition is the notion of the Day of Judgement, as foretold in texts like the Book of Revelation and the great mediaeval poem Dies Irae.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

The historical Jesus - A summary

Following my recent posts on the career and teachings of the historical Jesus, it is time to sum up.

The picture of Jesus (Yeshua bar Yosef) that I believe emerges from the sources is as follows.  To give greater authenticity, I have decided to use the Aramaic and Greek forms of names and places rather than their more familiar Anglicised equivalents - hence, for example, Galil rather than Galilee, and Yohanan the Baptiser rather than John the Baptist.

The Historical Paul

Having blogged a bit about the historical Jesus, I now want to turn to the historical Paul.

Women in St Paul

Women as holders of authority

The most important passage in St Paul’s letters which refers to women as holders of authority in the church is chapter 16 of the letter to the Romans. Paul mentions there several important women by name:

Some pieces of very early church tradition preserved in the New Testament

‘Very early’ in this context means predating 60 AD.

Titles of Jesus in the New Testament

Contrary to popular belief, ‘Messiah’ (or, in Greek, ‘Christ’) was neither the only nor the most important title given to Jesus by the early church.

Monday, 2 May 2011

The Antichrist

The Antichrist is a character in the Bible who is destined to conduct a reign of terror at the end of time.  In this post, I want to summarise some of the characteristics attributed to the Antichrist both in the New Testament and in the later theological tradition.