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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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JUDGMENT. Biblical eschatology centres about the Judgment to which all humanity is to be subjected at the end of this ‘age.’ As the introduction to the Messianic Age, it was expected to occur at a definite time in the future, and would take place in the heavens, to which all humanity, whether living or dead, would be raised from Sheol. The judge was sometimes said to be God ( Hebrews 12:23 ), sometimes His representative, the Christ, assisted by the angels ( Romans 2:16 , Matthew 13:24-30 ; Matthew 13:37-43 ; Matthew 13:47-50 ; Matthew 24:31-45 ; Cf. Eth. Enoch 48). In Luke 22:30 , 1 Corinthians 6:2 , Christians are also said to be judges. At the Judgment, sentences would be pronounced determining the eternal states of individuals, both men and angels. Those who had done wrong would be doomed to punishment, and those who had accepted Jesus as Christ, either explicitly, as in the case of the Christians, or implicitly, as in the case of Abraham, would be acquitted and admitted to heaven. The question as to the basis of this acquittal gave rise to the great discussion between St. Paul and the Jewish Christians, and was developed in the doctrine of justification by faith.

By its very nature the thought of judgment is eschatological, and can be traced from the conception of the Day of Jehovah of the ancient Hebrews. While the Scripture writers sometimes conceived of disease and misery as the result of sin, such suffering was not identified by them with the penalties inflicted at the Judgment. These were strictly eschatological, and included non-participation in the resurrection of the body, and suffering in hell. (See Abyss, Day of the Lord, Book of Life, Gehenna.)

For ‘judgment’ in the sense of justice see art. Justice.

Shailer Mathews.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Judgment'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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