Biblical, and broadly accessible, Eckhard J Schnabel makes sense of one of the Bible’s most difficult topics. Schnabel answers common questions about the return of Christ, the millennium, the final judgment, the rapture, heaven, hell, and the future of the world. Schnabel carefully studies the biblical text in light of its first-century context. The result is an even-handed treatment that avoids sensationalism.
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“The expression the end times is the modern equivalent for the scriptural expression the last days, which refers to the final period of history before the last day, which is the day of Jesus’ second coming and the day of the last judgment. The term eschatology refers to the doctrine of ‘the last things’ (from Greek, eschatos, ‘last’). Used in a strict sense, eschatology refers to prophecies, events, and developments that are close to, and connected with, the last period of history before the end.” (Page 9)
“The millennium begins with Jesus’ second coming, and it ends with the last judgment when Satan and all unrepentant sinners are consigned to the lake of fire for eternal punishment.” (Page 278)
“Some interpreters work with the principle that the language of prophecies should be interpreted literally as long as this can be reasonably followed. This is an illegitimate demand because it leaves the decision when to interpret literally and when to interpret symbolically up to the modern interpreter. It is the original author and his cultural and linguistic context that determine whether an expression or a statement should be interpreted literally or not.” (Page 12)
“The entire period between Jesus’ first coming and the future consummation of God’s purposes constitutes ‘the last days.’” (Page 22)
“The view that in the last days all true believers will be taken up to heaven in a secret rapture, leaving behind a world in chaos, was first articulated by John Nelson Darby in 1830.” (Page 93)
Eckhard J. Schnabel received his PhD from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and is the Mary French Rockefeller Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. He is the author of numerous books, commentaries, and essays, including Early Christian Mission, Paul the Missionary, and Der Erste Brief an Die Korinther in the Historisch-Theologische Auslegung commentary series. He also spoke at Pastorum Live 2012.