Sacred Texts  Christianity 

The Doctrine of the Last Things

By W.O.E. Oesterley


This is an analysis of Judeo-Christian eschatology (doctrine about the end of the world), by a distinguished 19th century Biblical scholar. Rev. Oesterley delves into the Jewish roots of the Christian concept of the end of the world. He begins in the Jewish writings of antiquity, particularly the Tanach and the non-deuterocanonical apocrypha such as The Book of Enoch and The Book of Jubilees. These invaluable apocryphal sources were lost until manscripts turned up in (e.g.) Ethiopia in the 19th century. Oesterley traces the development from a 'Particularist' apocalypse in the Jewish Bible and Apocrypha (limited to Jewish people), to a 'Universalist' apocalypse in Christian belief, in which everyone is judged equally.

Oesterley takes us on a walk through this specialized subject with obvious enthusiasm and a scientific attitude. In spite of the grim and often ponderous subject matter, Oesterley is explicitly writing for a non-academic audience. His lively style actually makes this treatise fairly interesting reading.

Title Page
Prefatory Note
Chapter 1. The Antecedents of the Gospel Teaching: Introductory
Chapter II. The Antecedents of the Gospel Teaching: The Old Testament
Chapter III. The Antecedents of the Gospel Teaching: Some Further Elements in the Old Testament
Chapter IV. The Antecedents of the Gospel Teaching. The Apocalyptic Literature: Introductory.
Chapter V. The Antecedents of the Gospel Teaching: The Apocalyptic Literature.
Chapter VI. Some Further Eschatological Elements in the Apocalyptic Literature
Chapter VII. Eschatological Teaching in Rabbinical Literature
Chapter VIII. The Coming of the Messiah, The Son of Man
Chapter IX. The Gospel Teaching of the Second Advent.
Chapter X. The Gospel Teaching of the Second Advent:--Contrast with its Antecedents.
Chapter XI. The Christian Adaptation of Jewish Teaching.