1. Currently I am reading Ed Sanders’ Paul and Palestinian Judaism and it is interesting to note the contrast between the Rabbis, who used the phrase ‘the world to come’ (e.g., all Israelites will have a share in the world to come) frequently, with the early Christians, despite of their shared Jewishness with the Rabbis, who did not (if I remembered correctly). The difference might be due to the early Christians belief that Jesus of Nazareth has been raised by the God of Israel and hence ‘the world to come’ indeed has come, albeit partially, through the resurrection of Jesus. So the early Christians used phrases like the resurrection and the kingdom of God more rather than ‘the world to come’ and sometimes they used them ambiguously with respect to the time frame. Is it in the present or in the future or both? The explanation of the contrast, I think, goes along this line: the resurrection of Jesus.
2. Recently I am contemplating as well about the question who will inherit the world to come. I guess I am going to answer it this way: it will be much more than I thought it will be.