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Thanks for the questions, Mark.

There are two ways of looking at the historical question. We can ask about the “historical counterpart” retrospectively, knowing more or less how history worked out, and knowing that Christendom was perhaps in many respects a disaster for the church. Or we can ask the question prospectively, and then we are looking for just three developments: i) the deliverance of the persecuted church from its sufferings; ii) an end to the dominance of the pagan belief system; and iii) the confession of Jesus as Lord by the nations to the glory of the God of Israel. What comes after that historically is beyond the purview of the New Testament—it is John’s blank 1000 year period.

Remember, too, that this is the outlook for the churches of the pagan world. For Jesus and the disciples in Jerusalem and Judea, the dominant historical horizon is, I think, the disaster that would befall Jerusalem within a generation of Jesus’ death.

The resurrection envisaged in Luke 20:34-35 is a resurrection such as that described in Daniel 12:1-3, which is expected to accompany the judgment and restoration of God’s people. I imagine that the odd resurrection of the sleeping saints from their tombs at the time of the crucifixion in Matthew 27:51-53 is also a prefiguring of such a resurrection. It is a vindication of the righteous who have died so that they can be glorified in the age to come. I think it corresponds to the resurrection of the martyrs following judgment on Rome (Rev. 20:4-6). So it is a resurrection that kicks off the age to come—from Jesus’ perspective the age following judgment on Jerusalem; from John’s the age following judgment on pagan Rome.

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