Further Reflections on the Nature of the Eschatological New Testament Storyline
As a continuing series, G. K’s Book New Testament Biblical Theology is being analyzed and explained. Think of it as sort of an extended book review but without much critique. In fact, the express aim is to understand Beale by his own words.
Beale opens up this chapter by basically summarizing his Already-Not-Yet (ANY( reading of Scripture. He states, “in the NT the end days predicated by the OT are seen as beginning fulfillment with Christ’s first coming and will culminate in a final consummated fulfillment at the very end of history. All that the OT foresaw would occur in the end times has begun already in the first century and continues on until the final coming of Christ” (161).
Beale provides this chart on page 162 to illustrate his view of the Bible’s ANY storyline pictorially:
This is the sixth installment of a series that is reading G. K. Beale’s New Testament Theology. The point of these posts is simply to outline his beliefs and highlight some of his key arguments.
The Eschatological Storyline of the Old Testament in Relation to the New Testament: The New Testament Focus on the Latter Days
Beale continues to argue that eschatology is a key to understanding Scripture, and that eschatology does not speak of the end but the present also. He understands Eschatology as being already fulfilled but without all being fulfilled. One could term this an Already-Not-Yet view of Scripture.
Beale believes that “eschatology is a dominant theme in the NT” (129). The phrase “the latter days” and similar terms in the NT “often dos not refer exclusively to the very end of history, as we typically think of it” (130). In fact, argues Beale, studying the latter days will “demand that the popular and even often-held scholarly view be reassessed.” This view is that eschatology or the latter days refers to the end of history alone. For Beale, we are in the latter days. Continue reading