Original Research - Special Collection: Africa Platform for NT Scholars

Russia–Ukraine war: Understanding and responding to wars and rumours of wars as ἀρχὴ ὠδίνων

Chidinma P. Ukeachusim
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 79, No 4 | a8717 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i4.8717 | © 2023 Chidinma P. Ukeachusim | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 March 2023 | Published: 21 December 2023

About the author(s)

Chidinma P. Ukeachusim, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; and Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

In Matthew 24, Jesus prophesied to his disciples about ‘wars and rumours of wars’ and other eschatological birth-pangs to prepare them in advance on how they are to be responding to eschatological events as they would be unfolding in the interim of his ascension and his promised Parousia. What then does Jesus mean by enlisting ‘wars and rumours of wars’ in this eschatological era to be functioning as ‘the beginning of birth-pangs’ and how should Christians be responding to wars and rumours of wars as eschatological birth-pangs? Employing the redaction exegetical method, this study focuses on interpreting Matthew 24:6−8 to explain what Jesus most probably meant as he enlisted ‘wars and rumours of wars’ as eschatological birth-pangs; and with special reference to the Russia–Ukraine war that broke out on 24 February 2022, recommends from the Olivet prophecy how Christians are to be righteously responding to ‘wars and rumours of wars’ as eschatological birth-pangs.

Contribution: This study explored Matthew 24:6−8 to unveil what Jesus means by enlisting wars and rumours of wars as eschatological birth-pangs. With special reference to the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, theological highlights were recommended on how Christians are to be responding to war and war rumours as end-time birth-pains.


Keywords

Matthew 24:6−8; Jesus’ eschatological prophecy; war and rumours of wars; birth-pangs; theological eschatological responses; Christians; Russia; Ukraine

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

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