Christian eschatology is a major branch of study within Christian theology. Eschatology, from two Greek words meaning last (???????, last) and study (?????, lit. discourse), is the study of the end of things, whether the end of an individual life, the end of the age, or the end of the world. Broadly speaking, Christian eschatology is the study of the destiny of man as it is revealed in the Bible, which is the primary source for all Christian eschatology studies.
The major issues and events in Christian eschatology are: death and the afterlife, Heaven and Hell, the Second Coming of Jesus, the Resurrection of the Dead, the Rapture, the Tribulation, Millennialism, the end of the world, the Last Judgment, and the New Heaven and New Earth of the World to Come. Eschatological passages are found in many places in the Bible, both in the Old and the New Testaments. There are also many extrabiblical examples of eschatological prophecy, as well as church traditions.
Eschatology is an ancient branch of study in Christian theology, presumably starting with the Olivet discourse, The Sheep and the Goats, and other discourses of end times by Jesus, with the doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ first touched on by Paul of Tarsus and Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35–107 AD), then given more consideration by the Christian apologist, Justin Martyr (c. 100–165). Treatment of eschatology continued in the West in the teachings of Tertullian (c. 160–225), and was given fuller reflection and speculation soon after by Origen (c. 185–254). It was increasingly recognized as a formal division of theological study during the 20th century.
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