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.
Rev. William Oscar Emil Oesterley (Calcutta 1866–1950) was a Church of England theologian, and professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at King’s College, London, from 1926.
OESTERLEY, WILLIAM OSCAR EMIL° (1866–1950), English Semitics scholar. Oesterley, who was born in Calcutta, was ordained a clergyman and taught Hebrew and Old Testament exegesis at King’s College, London, from 1926. In his work he endeavored to demonstrate talmudic influence on New Testament form and content.
Among his published writings are: The Jewish Background of Christian Liturgy (1925); (with T.H. Robinson) A History of Israel (vol. 2; From 586 B.C.E. to A.D. 135; 1932 and many reprints); Introduction to the Books of the Old Testament (with T.H. Robinson, 1934) and An Introduction to the Books of the Apocrypha (1935); The Jews and Judaism During the Greek Period (1941). Oesterley also wrote commentaries to Psalms (1939; repr. 1962) and Proverbs (1929), A Fresh Approach to the Psalms (1937) and a metric translation of the Song of Songs, Ancient Hebrew Poems (1938). Together with G.H. Box he wrote an outline of Jewish literature, A Short Survey of the Literature of Rabbinical and Mediaeval Judaism, 1920.
Prefatory Note ix
Chapter 1. The Antecedents of the Gospel Teaching: Introductory p1
Chapter 2. The Antecedents of the Gospel Teaching: The Old Testament p12
Chapter 3. The Antecedents of the Gospel Teaching: Some Further Elements in the Old Testament p44
Chapter 4. The Antecedents of the Gospel Teaching. The Apocalyptic Literature: Introductory. p65
Chapter 5. The Antecedents of the Gospel Teaching: The Apocalyptic Literature. p77
Chapter 6. Some Further Eschatological Elements in the Apocalyptic Literature p105
Chapter 7. Eschatological Teaching in Rabbinical Literature p128
Chapter 8. The Coming of the Messiah, The Son of Man p147
Chapter 9. The Gospel Teaching of the Second Advent. p169
Chapter 10. The Gospel Teaching of the Second Advent:–Contrast with its Antecedents.190
Chapter 11. The Christian Adaptation of Jewish Teaching. 204
THE DOCTRINE OF THE LAST THINGS;
JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN.
THE REV. W. O. E. OESTERLEY, D.D.
JESUS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET
NOTICE OF ATTRIBUTION
Scanned at sacred-texts.com, February 2005. John Bruno Hare, redactor. This text is in the public domain in the United States because it was published prior to 1922. These files may be used for any non-commercial purpose provided this notice of attribution is included in all copies.