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Preliminary Remarks: A Consistent Eschatological Scheme?

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Chapter Summary

How does the afterlife scene in the Rich Man and Lazarus fit into Luke’s overall eschatological view? Many a scholar has answered: poorly. However, elsewhere in his double work, Luke presupposes that there will be a general resurrection and judgment at the end of time. This tension has been resolved in various ways. One way is to lean on source critical arguments, and the another way is to harmonize the different views. Both these solutions are based on the presumption that Luke has a coherent and intellectually consistent eschatological scheme where different pieces fit together. This chapter examines Luke’s eschatological expectations in light of the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. It argues that the story points to diversity and diffusion within Luke’s eschatology. Finally, it claims that Luke’s use of different images concerning fate after death is similarly ambivalent and cannot be harmonized into one scheme without difficulties.

Keywords: afterlife scene; consistent eschatological scheme; fate after death; Lazarus; Luke’s eschatology; Rich Man



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