Last Judgment

See Judgment; Eschatology

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

1. A Transcendental Doctrine:

In Christian theology the Last Judgment is an act in which God interposes directly into human history, brings the course of this world to a final close, determines the eternal fate of human beings, and places them in surroundings spiritually adapted to their final condition. The concept is purely transcendental, and is to be distinguished from the hope that God will interfere in the history of this world to determine it undeviatingly toward good. The transcendental doctrine is possible only when an exalted idea of God has been attained, although it may afterward be united with crasser theories, as in certain naive conceptions of Christianity at the present day.

2. The Doctrine in the Religion of Israel:


For discussions of the relevant Biblical passages, see Day of the Lord; Eschatology; PAROUSIA. The doctrine has real religious value, for it insists on a culmination in the evolution (or degeneration!) of the race as well as of the individual. So it is contrasted with the pessimism of natural science, which points only toward the gradual extinction of humanity through the cooling of the sun.

LITERATURE.

The variations of the concept are treated, fully only in Volz, Judische Eschatologie. For general literature see nodetitle; Parousia.

See also

  • nodetitle