This short study, drawing on a small part of Calvin’s vast written corpus, seeks to show how the reformer used the concepts of eternal life and death. Tackling with uncertainties on the fringes of eschatology, Calvin shows how difficult it is to grasp the meaning of these two concepts, even when the theologian stands on firm biblical theological grounds.
life after death
1 Peter 3:18–22 is one of the strangest and most difficult texts of the Scriptures. The paraenesis addressing the unjustly suffering Christians in Asia Minor is amended by a confession of faith. The pericope testifies that the death, resurrection, ascension and redemption of Christ has much broader spatial and temporal implications than one might think at first. This article aims to mark the exegetical and theological coordinates of the mysterious encounter between Christ and the souls in prison. Three questions will be explored: Who are these souls? What did Christ preach them about?
In this paper we present almost twenty ancient greek funeral inscriptions from the period of 4th–3rd centuries BC and 3rd–4th centuries AD. Our aim is to set the eschatology of four Pauline letters (1Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Filippians) in the context of Hellenistic after-life concepts, and to establish the possible parallels and analogies.
In Calvin’s eschatological reflection the intermediate state of the believer is of primary importance. After death the soul leaves body, the body (and only the body) falls into sleep, the soul, however, rests by God. The perfect happiness of the soul is not diminished by the fact that in this intermediate state one still has to wait for the resurrection. Although Calvin uses platonic terminology in order to clarify his ideas, the scriptural content usually overwrites this platonic terminology.