This idea that the Messianic kingdom of the future on earth should have a definite duration has - like the whole eschatology of the primitive Church - its roots in the Jewish apocalyptic literature, where it appears at a comparatively late period.
The individual hoped that he would live to share the nation's good, and thus the two streams of Old Testament eschatology at last flow together.
It is in the apocryphal and apocalyptic literature of Judaism that the fullest development of eschatology can be traced.
The kind of eschatology which we find in Zech.
The eschatology of 2 Macc. is singularly advanced, for it combines the doctrine of a resurrection with that of immortality.
The eschatology of a nation - and the most influential portion of Jewish and Christian apocrypha are eschatological - is always the last part of their religion to experience the transforming power of new ideas and new facts.
In dealing with the individual eschatology we must carefully distinguish the popular ideas regarding death and the hereafter which Israel shared with the other Semitic peoples, from the intuitions, inferences, aspirations evoked in the pious by the divine revelation itself.
All this was quite in the vein of later Judaism, and so at length the unfulfilled predictions of the prophets served as the raw material for the elaborate eschatology of the apocalypses (see Apocalyptic Literature).
This Iranian dualism is proved to have penetrated into the late Jewish eschatology from the beginning of the ist century before Christ, and did so probably still earlier.
The eschatology of the New Testament attaches itself not only to that of the Old Testament but also to that of contemporary Judaism, but it avoids the extravagances of the latter.