A Peaceable Hope: Contesting Violent Eschatology in New Testament Narratives
Baker Academic 2013
In the New Testament, there is aparent tension between Jesus’ nonviolent mission and message and the apparent violence attributed to God and his agents at the anticipated end. David Neville challenges this ready association between New Testament eschatology and retributive vengeance on Christological and canonical grounds. Neville shows that for every narrative text in the New Testament that anticipates a vehement eschatology, another promotes a largely peaceable one. A Peacable Hope furthers the growing discussion of violence and the doctrine of the atonement.
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- Interpretive resources for understanding eschatology
- Extensive exploration of the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation
- Part 1: The Gospels according to Matthew and Mark
- Nonretaliation or Vengeance? Protesting Matthew’s Violent Eschatology
- Peaceful Power: Pleading Mark’s Ethical Eschatology
- Part 2: The Lukan Literature
- The Evangelist of Peace
- “As in the Days of Noah and Lot”: Retributive Eschatology in Luke's Gospel
- “In the Same Way”: Restoration Eschatology in Acts
- Part 3: Johannine Trajectories
- Nonviolent Apocalypse: The Peace Witness of the Fourth Gospel
- Apocalypse of the Lamb: Reading Revelation in Peace Perspective
Praise for the Print Edition
The notorious disjunction between the peaceable Jesus who commands love of enemy and the returning Jesus who brings punitive vengeance is here met head-on. Neville is historically honest, hermeneutically sophisticated, and personally candid. This is New Testament theology at its best and most helpful.
—Dale C. Allison Jr., Errett M. Grable Professor of New Testament and early Christianity, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Neville’s superb treatment of the disjunction between Jesus as inaugurator of peace and the imagery of judgment with violent retribution is thorough and judicious. Accepting eschatological judgment, he contends this does not negate God's Covenant of Peace as a definitive moral imperative for understanding Jesus’s words and deeds in the Synoptic Gospels. John's apocalyptic eschatology (much realized) does not envision violent retribution; Jesus and the Paraclete promise peace amid persecution. Neville's careful research—laudably interacting in depth with current scholarship and interpretive discernment—contributes richly to a foremost moral issue in New Testament interpretation and Christian praxis. Infused and guided by peace and eschatological hope, this book is not to be missed!
—Willard Swartley, professor emeritus of New Testament, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
- Title: A Peaceable Hope
- Author: David J. Neville
- Publisher: Baker Academic
- Publication Date: 2013
- Pages: 304
About David J. Neville
David J. Neville lectures in New Testament studies at St. Mark’s National Theological Centre in Canberra, Australia, and within the School of Theology at Charles Sturt University. He is also a member of the Public and Contextual Theology Strategic Research Centre at Charles Sturt University, within which he co-ordinates the Scripture and Social Ethics focus group.