How to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

P.OSTOST

16 Apr 2021

Cosmological renewal is mostly a metaphor in the Bible for the restoration of the people of God after catastrophic divine judgment—first, the Babylonian invasion and the exile, then the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by Rome in AD 70. But I think that the resurrection of Jesus was a real event, not merely a symbol for the “resurrection” of Israel, and that it introduces an ontological novelty into the narrative that will find fulfilment in the real—not metaphorical—remaking of heaven and earth, of which John speak in Revelation 21:1-8. The key point here is that the reign of the resurrected Jesus in heaven, at the right hand of God, was always meant to culminate in the defeat of the last enemy, death (1 Cor. 15:24-28). So John says that not only the wicked but also “Death and Hades” are thrown into the lake of fire to be destroyed (Rev. 20:14).

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