Early Christian writings share an understanding that believers live in the end-times. This leads to the common expectation, the common hope, that God would one day achieve final and ultimate victory in the coming of Jesus. This book traces the origins of this understanding in the Old Testament, in prophetic literature, in Jewish apocalyptic writings, and in the New Testament. The resulting map informs the church of today that still lives between the times.
." . . Charles L. Holman tackles a complicated and difficult subject with commendable insight and skill. With careful analysis he traces a "dynamic tension" between 'imminence' and 'delay' in the eschatological hope expressed in the biblical books of Old and New Testaments and in the Jewish apocalyptic writings . . .
"At a time of increasing interest in and speculation on 'the End', this timely and balanced book is to be both welcomed and commended."
--D. S. Russell, Former Principal of Rawdon College and Joint Principal of the Northern Baptist College, Manchester
"The tension between expectation and delay in earliest Christian parousia hope is one which has puzzled generations of NT scholars. Was Jesus wrong about the future? Did the first Christians hope in vain for an imminent second coming? What seems to have been largely ignored in such discussions is the fact that this was a familiar problem in earlier Jewish eschatology, that Jesus and the first Christians were part of that ongoing tradition, and that the earilier experience of handling the tension was likely to have provided a resource for contemporary handling of the same tension in the NT period. This was an insight developed by Charles Holman . . . And I amdelighted that at long last it is to see the light of day. In its updated version it promises to be a voice of sober and sound biblical proportions in a period when issues of expectation and delay will once again come to the fore."
--James D. G. Dunn, Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, University of Durham