Today I looked up “Judgment” in my favorite searchable Bible site – http://www.gatewaybible.com. And I chose the “Good News Translation” as a starting point, unaware that it has a couple of additional books. I was specifically looking for references to “Judgment Day” to see if that term appeared prior to the New Testament.
I immediately noticed that it does appear in the book of Judith, at 16:17: “The Lord Almight will punish them on Judgment Day”. I researched the Book of Judith and one site reports it was written in the second or first century BC. That would be the only time prior to the life of Jesus that there was a reference to a Judgment Day. That I can tell.
OK, next the Good News Translation had several passages from the “Book of Wisdom” (aka Book of Solomon not to be confused with the Song of Solomon) regarding “Judgment Day”. It was written in the first century CE, but that makes sense.
Isaiah 33:14 refers to God’s judgment; Joel 3:2 refers to the “Valley of Judgment” and the short book of Zephaniah, supposedly written in the 600’s BC states at 1:2 “I am going to destroy everything on earth (on the day of the Lord’s Judgment); 1:7 and 14:1 both state “the day is near”. I find that odd for something written in the 600’s BC.
Malachi, also an OT prophet states at 2:17 “The day is near”. (Reminds me of Blazing Saddles).
Then of course the NT is rife with references to the final judgment. 1 Peter 4:17 states, “The time has come for judgment to begin”. Interesting.
But one of my points is, when someone asks if you read the Bible, it’s tempting to say, which one? Apparently the “Good News Translation” sees fit to add some additional extrabiblical books that weren’t approved by those picky Catholic priests in the 300’s.