I have recently been reading John Meier’s books and he almost always calls Jesus (and John the Baptist), eschatological prophets (once stating Jesus having a “tinge of apocalypticism” or something to that effect). And you always refer to Jesus as an “apocalyptic prophet”.   Do you make any distinction  in the terms “eschatological” and “apocalyptic”?



Ah, it’s a good question.  These terms are an endless source of confusion for people – even scholars sometimes.  I think the problem is that different scholars work with different definitions and often they have not thought through carefully the implications of their terminology.  So let me explain how I work it all out, by defining/describing a set of terms that are all closely related but distinct (in my head):  eschatology (and eschatological); apocalypticism; apocalyptic; and apocalypse.

Eschatology.   This is a broad term that simply means …

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