The Idea of the Decay of the World in the Old Testament, the Apocrypha, and the Pseudepigrapha
The seventeenth-century debate between Godfrey Goodman and George Hakewill over the decay of the world has been shown to be related to the growth of natural science in England.1 Jones has argued that the rejection of belief in decay, and the associated idea of the authority of ancient learning helped to create an ethos favourable to scientific studies; and Harris has demonstrated how the decline of belief in decay is correlated with the rise of the scientific attitude of the “new philosophers”2. In their debate Goodman and Hakewill spent much time discussing Scriptural texts that bear upon their subject.3 The purpose of this essay is to examine to what extent belief in the decay of the world entered into the thought of the Old Testament, and its Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha.4
KeywordsNatural Power Eternal Life Roman Domination Ancient Learning Scriptural Text
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