Master of Arts (MA)
Eschatology, Jesus, Ethics
Speculations on the final destiny of man and of the world have busied wise man's minds of many ages. Although findings on the future life no longer captivate our thoughts as during the Middle Ages, yet they are still a by no means neglected part of almost every man's theology. The change that we label by the common term death appears to be universally imposed upon mankind. To be aware of the approaching end of life-as-it-is stimulates many of us to probe the hereafter. That search and its fruits become an integral part of our theology. Has this fact of death always caused similar eschatological adventures? As long as man has been man, & conscious being, it has, the psychologists might answer. But our immediate phase of the problem is a historical one. It is the task of discovering whether or not eschatology had relationship with Jesus' ethics. Was Jesus' ethics influenced by eschatological views held either by his contemporaries or by himself? Before entering upon this problem a word of explanation is needed concerning the method employed.
Too frequently amateur historians err by using their own life background as the environment into which they place characters of a past age. Jesus has been especially mistreated because students enter upon an examination of his life with prejudices and even formed conclusions. And then by studying a few of his words and a few of his actions decide that they have seen the historic Jesus.
Sutherland, Robert L., "Thesis: Relation Between Eschatology and Jesus' Ethics" (1927). Honors Papers. 810.