Jesus - An apocalyptic prophet? What does the CC say?

Hi everyone,

what does the CC say about Jesus being an apocalyptic prophet and all the arguments in favor of this position?

Are you kidding? A prophet is a messenger of God. Christ is the Messiah.

Jesus is GOD.

Have you ever encountered what scholars call apocalypticism? Have you ever encountered with those arguments? Just asking…

jdnrite01, why shoudl I be kidding? I clearly stated my question. I did not even say Jesus was a prophet… Perhaps you only did not encounter more the apocalyptic literature of which e.g. the Apocalypse of John is a part of…

There is something which is called the apolocalyptic literature.
And there are arguments to say Jesus, Paul etc. were apolapticists.

My question is:

“How does the CC comment the (seemingly) apocalyptic sayings of Jesus, Paul and other people in the Bible (e.g. John the Baptist)? How does a Catholic make sense of these sayings?”

That question is completely different from asking whether Christ was any type of prophet. I don’t think that any short answer to your question is possible; volumes have been written about Christian eschatological beliefs. You can start by looking at Summary of Christian eschatological differences

Obviously the Catholic Church rejects the idea that the core of Jesus’ message was a mistaken prophecy of the end of the world. However, there are a lot of other things that “apocalyptic prophet” can mean. Are you familiar with the work of N.T. Wright? Some of his views are incompatible with Catholic theology (he’s an Anglican bishop). But at least one very conservative Catholic I knew in grad school, Tim Gray, was a big fan of N. T. Wright (I first heard about him from Tim, in fact). I don’t know what Tim thinks of him now (Tim teaches a Bible study on EWTN and teaches in the seminary of the Diocese of Denver). Wright sees Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet (and for all those who freak out at the word, obviously that doesn’t mean that Jesus was “just another prophet”–He is traditionally regarded as a Prophet, a Priest, and a King!), but he doesn’t think that this means that Jesus was predicting the imminent end of the world. Rather, Wright says that Jesus claimed that the Kingdom was coming in His own life and work–that in Him God’s plans for Israel were being renewed and fulfilled. That’s a short summary of a very complex argument, but as I see it Wright’s basic claims are fully compatible with Catholicism. (I could be wrong, of course.)

Edwin

Well, thanks for the wikipedia links, but apocalypticism is not there I think. It has to do with eschatology, of course, but I mean apocalypticism as a style of literature giving new response as to why people suffer.

“Apocalypso” in Greek means “to reveal/to disclose”. It was supposed to be a reason revealed to some Jewish people as to the problem of theodicea. The “revealed answer” was that “people suffer because there are good and bad powers in this worlds (dualism). And these bad power cause us to suffer. We suffer precisely because we adhere to God’s law”

That is unlike in the prophets where they said basically that people suffered because they DIDN’t keep God’s law.

This apocalyptic literature originated most probably in the 2nd century BC with the book of Daniel (it’s written Vaticinia ex eventu) and ended (this kind of literature) in the 2nd century AD.

I could write more, but I think only people who know this background (and who already thus know it) coudl help me with this.

Hi Edwin, thank you,

I know N.T.Wright, though I have not read any book of his yet. Only heard some talks (not related to my question).

I don;t argue for the position that Jesus was an apocalyptic prohpet. Rather, I would like to refute it. But I don’t think it is easily refutable.

I think the problem with your rebuttle (or with N.T. Wright’s) is that there are problems if you take Paul as the most important theologian (after Jesus) in the 1st century AD. He seems he and the churces he writes to (e.g. in 1 Cor and 1 Thes) clearly hold the apocalyptic worldview (if not “clearly” then at least “probabably”).

Are you familiar with these arguments for apocalypticism lurking behind Paul’s letters?

Why?

I think the problem with your rebuttle (or with N.T. Wright’s)

Neither Wright nor I deny that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet. The question is what that meant.

is that there are problems if you take Paul as the most important theologian (after Jesus) in the 1st century AD. He seems he and the churces he writes to (e.g. in 1 Cor and 1 Thes) clearly hold the apocalyptic worldview (if not “clearly” then at least “probabably”).

Are you familiar with these arguments for apocalypticism lurking behind Paul’s letters?

What do you mean by the apocalyptic world view? I don’t dispute that early Christians had an apocalyptic world view, as I understand it.

If by “apocalyptic” you mean that we are in a battle between light and darkness, then I hold an apocalyptic world view as well!

Edwin

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