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24. Apocalyptic and Accommodation

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Introduction to New Testament (RLST 152)

The Apocalypse of John showed an anti-Roman, politically revolutionary perspective. This is in contrast with Paul's writing in Romans 13, which calls for submission to governmental authorities - although passages in 1 Corinthians may be said to contradict this. 2 Thessalonians, a pseudonymous letter, also preaches a politically conservative and accommodative message, as does 1 Peter. Interestingly, these letters do not discard or ignore apocalypticism but use it quite differently from the author of Revelation to further their message of political conservatism. 2 Peter seems to be a letter dating from the second century, from the post-apostolic age. In 2 Peter, the apocalypse is no longer imminent and is not used to further any admonition. Instead, it has become simply a part of Christian doctrine.

00:00 - Chapter 1. The Politics of Early Christianities
12:22 - Chapter 2. 2 Thessalonians, the Lawless One, and Politics
24:57 - Chapter 3. 1 Peter and Politics
37:00 - Chapter 4. 2 Peter: A Letter from the Post-Apostolic Age

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.