Tackling the Apocalyptic Prophets


Glenton Jelbert examines passages in the Bible to extrapolate fallacies, fallibilities, and the philosophical merits within. 

Was Paul a deluded apocalypticist? In other words, did he believe the apocalypse (i.e. some kind of dramatic end of world event) would happen in his lifetime? The answer to this is almost certainly yes. My friend, Mark Smith, recently wrote a nice summary of the failed second coming (available on Amazon) responding to the various theologies that try to get around it.

Of course, Jesus made some pretty bold claims on the subject, which gives Christians the opportunity to exercise the full scope of their creativity with various interpretations.

Unpopular is C. S. Lewis’s take, which is that the verse:

This generation shall not pass till all these things be done.

Matt 24:34

is “the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.” (The World’s Last Night by C. S. Lewis). He goes on to argue that Jesus is fully God and fully man, and we need appreciate that the fully man bit comes with consequences. When Jesus asked “Who touched me?” (Luke 7:45) he really wanted to know. And, similarly, when he prophesied that the apocalypse was near, he just got it wrong, but hey, to err is human, even for a man-god. Forget, for a minute, that human prophets were disregarded and put to death for getting it wrong (Dt 18:22). Here’s the deal in Lewis’s own words:

“And if limitation, and therefore ignorance, was thus taken up [by Jesus], we ought to expect that the ignorance should at some time be actually displayed.” C.S. Lewis, The World’s Last Night

But I wanted in this post to discuss some of the reasons why we think Paul thought “The End was Nigh!” (Mark 1:15).

Read the full article, Paul the Deluded Apocalypticist, on GlentonJelbert.com.