Notes: Ch. 9 of Ehrman’s Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium
Key Thesis: The apocalyptic prophet hypothesis makes best sense of Jesus’ core teachings.
1. Jesus message to repent and prepare for the imminent coming of the kingdom of God is apocalyptic
- Comes in power
- On Earth
- People enter into it
- The righteous will enter and the wicked will be cast out into Gehenna
- There will be eating and drinking within it
- The twelve disciples will sit on twelve thrones and judge/rule the twelve tribes of Israel. -God will extend his heavenly rule to Earth by means of it
- Eternal utopian existence
2. Jesus’ message of coming judgment is apocalyptic
- Judgment is imminent
- People need to repent to avoid it
- It will be meted out by the Son of Man, who is a cosmic judge sent from God (cf. the Book of Daniel in the OT).
- The Son of Man will come on the clouds of heaven with God’s holy angels.
- It will be accompanied with signs in heaven and on Earth (sun darkened, moon turned to blood, etc.)
3. Jesus’ frequent references to the Son of Man are commonly referring to the cosmic figure in Daniel, who was an apocalyptic figure
- Context: Daniel ch. 7
- Jesus doesn’t seem to be referring to himself in the earliest units of tradition (Mark) -This is embarrassing to the later church
- Passes the criteria of early strata, multiple attestation, embarrassment, and contextual credibility
4. Jesus’ teachings about reversals/inversions in the Kingdom of God ("the first shall be last, and the last, first") are apocalyptic (see ch. 7 notes, near bottom)
- becoming like children
- salvation offered to sinners (i.e., people who make no attempt to follow God’s law)
- the Beatitudes/Sermon on the Mount: the lowly who get lifted
5. Jesus’ teachings of a coming day of destruction are apocalyptic
6. Jesus’ assertions about the destruction of the temple are apocalyptic
7. Jesus’ teaching about judgment being universal (i.e., to both Israel and to non-Jews far outside Israel) is apocalyptic
8. Jesus’ teachings about judgment being imminent are apocalyptic.