n Ekklesiastikos Pharos - The Judaeo-Christian genre of the Apocalypse as an answer to the theodicy question

Volume 93, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1018-9556



The Babylonian Captivity of the 6th century BCE created a theological problem for the Jews.They believed that God elected them Jews as God's own, and, should they remain true to the Torah, God would reward them. This problems was addressed by interpreting the exile as punishment for idolatry. However, when the pious were persecuted by Antiochus IV Epiphanes in the 2nd century BCE, and Christians persecuted by Nero in 64-68 CE, the theodicy question came to the fore: how could a just God allow pious people to be murdered and disenfranchised? This question was answered by interpreting time in a linear fashion. A series of historical periods were posited, predetermine by God, and ruled over by evil people or forces. This article argues that the origin of this view of time came from Hesiod. The notion of a bodily resurrection also needed to be individualised in order to motivate people to remain true to their faith. This idea appears for the first time in Jewish literature in 2 Maccabees.

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