The Christian Interpretation of Suffering

  • Wolfhart Pannenberg
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 72)


The point of view of the Christian faith in perceiving the various sufferings of human beings is determined by hope for a future that will overcome all suffering definitively. Thus in the Book of Revelations the future of the kingdom of God, the new Jerusalem, is described not only as the place of God’s dwelling with human beings, but it also says: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21, 4). Christian hope here reasserts promises from the Old Testament in a generalized way, beyond the limits of the people of the old covenant. Almost literally the word from Revelations alludes to Is. 25, 8: “He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces....” In the Revelation of John this is combined with Is. 35, 10: “...Sorrow and sighing shall flee way” and also Is. 65, 19 about the new Jerusalem of God’s saving future: “No more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress.”


Human Person Christian Faith Sick Person Moral Evil Eternal Life 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolfhart Pannenberg

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