It is evident that the Last Judgment is the last one in the sense that it comes at the end of times, after which no other judgment will occur. However, the adjective "last" indicates that there have been previous judgment(s), of which the judgment of the End of Times will be the last one. Which are these other judgments? Do they refer to God judging the human race or the people of Israel? (e.g. The Deluge)

I notice though that the Catholic Church speaks of the General Judgment, which does not necessarily imply another one (although there is also the particular judgment).

PS: I think this issue transcends the Catholic Church, but I am content with an answer coming from such tradition.

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    'Last' need not mean that there was something before it. It can indicate that it is final with nothing to follow it. Are you looking for a Catholic answer?
    – bradimus
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 10:42
  • Seems to me that the Cross might fit into the judgment category; since it lets all of our sins to be judged against Jesus.
    – BYE
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 11:38
  • I'll recommend that you flag this for a particular denomination, as the detailed teachings and beliefs have some differences across the spectrum of Christian faith communities. Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 12:56

2 Answers 2


The "Last Judgment" is not a biblical term, but is taken from church tradition. Augustine, in The City of God, Book XX, states the following:

And when we speak of God's judgment, we add the word last or final for this reason, because even now God judges, and has judged from the beginning of human history, banishing from paradise, and excluding from the tree of life, those first men who perpetrated so great a sin. Yes, He was certainly excercising judgment also when He did not spare the angels who sinned, whose prince, overcome being, seduced men after being himself seduced. Neither is it without God's profound and just judgment that the life of demons and men, the one in the air, the other on earth, is filled with misery, calamities, and mistakes. . . . He judges, too, not only the mass, condemning the race of devils and the race of men to be miserable on account of the original sin of these races, but He also judges the voluntary and personal acts of individuals. . . . And men are punished by God for their sins often visibly, always secretly, either in this life or after death . . . In this book, then, I shall speak, as God permits, not of those first judgments, nor of these intervening judgments of God, but of the last judgment, when Christ is to come from heaven to judge the quick and the dead.

  • This answer would be improved by the addition of an explanation rather than just a mass quote. The current introduction seems to dismiss the question and does not provide a good basis for the quotation.
    – bradimus
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 12:44
  • It seems Augustine was keen on adding "last" to things then. See here about the last supper (which strictly speaking was not the last supper of Jesus with His disciples).
    – luchonacho
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 12:56
  • @bradimus this appears to be something like a frame challenge, wherein one clears up a misconception in the process of answering the question. Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 12:57
  • @KorvinStarmast Indeed. I think the clarification needs to be more explicit.
    – bradimus
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 13:03
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    The question was not limited to a specific tradition. The quotation was intended to show where the expression "Last Judgment" originated (i.e., patristic tradition if not Augustine himself) and the quotation indicates the judgments which were considered prior to the last. The quotation itself is a sufficient answer to the question as posed.
    – Pilgrim
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 14:46

There was no Jewish race in the antideluvian world. It started with Abraham.

According to the Old Testament the Flood was a judgment. God destroyed the world because of sin. That would mean He Judged the world as sinful.

There's a challenge though: an omnipotent God never destroyed the world in an attempt to destroy sin and then fail to destroy sin. This would mean He was not omnipotent, but instead was capable of making mistakes.

There was undoubtedly a flood if not many floods. The story is found in almost every race that had the written word. Geological evidence of flooding is found almost everywhere. It obviously wasn't world wide and was probably caused by a melting ice cap, not God.

There is no question many people looked on wide spread flooding as a judgement from an angry god. I don't think God is angry. I believe He is love like He says He is.

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    Thanks, but this does not really answers the question.
    – luchonacho
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 10:51
  • I'd also point out that God's judgment was on the people; the created world remained for Noah and his descendants ... Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 12:58

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