The idea of “the delay of the Parousia” has been a powerful yet problematic notion in biblical study and systematic theology over the last century. Powerful: it is central to the theses of Albert Schweitzer and Rudolf Bultmann, and through their influence it has continued to exercise constraint, not to say control, on many readings of the New Testament and many related theological projects. Problematic: some scholars attuned to the Jewish world of the Second Temple period have repeatedly argued that the notion as popularly conceived is based on a serious misreading of the relevant texts.
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