Download e-book for iPad: A Brief History of Heaven by Alister E. McGrath

By Alister E. McGrath

Эта книга одного из самых известных современных христианских авторов исследует историю небес, от их происхождения в библейских письменах к самым новым представлениям о них.


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The poem is notable for evoking a series of echoes of the tale of Eden, most notably its reworking of the theme of love within a garden. Yet the most significant aspect of the poem is not its musings on the nature of love, but the imagery that it deploys in so doing – images that Christian theologians and artists found profoundly engaging, particularly during the Middle Ages. The New Testament employs the paradise motif, but does not appear to develop it significantly beyond the Old Testament’s statements.

Good fruit came by Moses, that is the Law, but not so lovely as the Gospel. For the Law is a kind of figure and shadow of things to come, but the Gospel is truth and the grace of life. The fruit of the The Garden: Heaven as Paradise 49 prophets was indeed delightful, but not as delightful as the fruit of immortality which is plucked from the gospel. Methodius’s argument involves the coupling of the concepts of paradise and the resurrection using the imagery of the re-entry into paradise. The eternal life that was indeed promised by the tree of life in paradise has once more been made available through Christ.

The word “Eden” itself may derive from the Sumerian word edinu (“plain”). It is possible that a traditional Mesopotamian image of “the king as gardener” may underlie some of the themes in this passage, and be taken up and developed in new directions in the New Testament. From the earliest stage, the word “paradise” came to be imbued with a series of qualities that ensured that it became a central theme in the Christian account of heaven. ” That idyllic state had been lost at the dawn of human history.

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