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By Tom W. Willett

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Extra resources for Eschatology in the Theodicies of 2 Baruch and 4 Ezra

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Both of these attempts to understand the world which contains evil and death are theodicy in the traditional sense. Tue middle of the rational-irrational continuum contains a number of theodicies which are difficult to rank. Tue ranking given here is only tentative. Tue ideas of disciplinary and probationary suffering still have retribution in the background. They generally explain suffering which might be perceived as more severe than the sin merits. Redemptive suffering represents a further development of the idea of suffering.

24-27), Trito-Zechariah (Zech. 12-14), and often the whole book of Joel. Many studies have thus attempted to explain the prophetic-apocalyptic connection, but none has given the definitive answer. 27 Much ofthe discussion about the difference between prophecy and apocalypticism has centered on their differing conceptions ofhistory. Robert North has even called the differing perspectives on history the 'key' to understanding the difference between prophecy and apocalypticism. 28 Usually the prophets are understood as expecting God to intervene in history; they have a positive view ofhistory.

9 Wellhausen, on the basis of Semitisms, argued that 4 Ezra was initially composed in a Semitic language,10 arguing first for a Hebrew original, but later tending towards Aramaic. 11 Leon Gry gave the most detailed argument for an Aramaic original;12 however, his conclusions have been largely rejected, 13 with recent scholars arguing for a Hebrew original. 14 Frank Zimmermann spoke for the majority when he outlined the genealogy of 4 Ezra as Hebrew-Aramaic-Greek-Latin. 15 A Semitic original has been 3.

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