Apocalyptic Materials – Biblical Research

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Apocalypticism And Early Christianity

The darker their present grew, the more desperate their condition in the later medieval period, the more eagerly did their minds turn to the comfort offered by the apocalyptic promises which predicted the end of their suffering and the dawn of their delivery. Growth Out of the Older.The Neo-Hebraic apocalyptic forms but one branch of Apocalyptic Literature, a species of literature exhibiting many ramifications, and represented in a complex but unbroken chain, from the time of the Maccabean War down to the close of the Middle Ages. It is characteristic of Apocalyptic Literature from its very beginning that it did not remain confined to its native Palestine. It made its way almost immediately to Hellenistic Alexandria, where it appears in the Greek language under the mask of the heathen Sibyl and with other mythological embellishments. Nor did this transplanting process take place only in apostolic times. In the course of its development the Christian apocalyptic drew freely from later Jewish sources, which, on the other hand, were often influenced directly or indirectly by the apocalyptic of the Church.

And the promises of the Restoration that were made by the prophets of old are just around the corner. So new prophets in the period of the Restoration have to address the community’s disappointment. The short Book of Haggai contains the words of the Prophet Haggai, spoken primarily to Zerubabbel, .

The reason for the adoption of pseudonymity is not entirely clear. The traditional explanation is that these writers had to attribute their writings to men of God prior to the time of Ezra , in order to have them accepted as authentic revelations. Yet it is questionable whether anyone would have been deceived by this tactic. Another suggestion is that they adopted pseudonyms to avoid persecution by the authorities of the day (but why not simple anonymity?). Another explanation given by some is that pseudonymity was merely a literary custom with no attempt to deceive the reader. More recently, pseudonymity has been explained in terms of “corporate personality,” the peculiar time-consciousness of the ancient Hebrews, and the proper name in Heb.

What is seen by the seer is written down, to be hidden away for many generations and faithfully preserved until the time of the end. In general tone and coloring the older apocalypse served as model for the Neo-Hebrew. It shows the same particularism and narrow nationalism that predominate in the later, according to which the kingdom of God means salvation for faithful Israel alone, but for the unrepentant heathen world damnation. Similarly the Christian apocalyptic grants future bliss only to the faithful adherents of the Church. In like manner, the gross sensuousness in the detailed description of the joys of the Messianic and supramundane world is quite common in the older apocalyptic.

But if you consult another Bible some of them only have three chapters, some have four — it can be confusing. In a second we’ll get to Daniel, but there are a few apocalyptic passages of varying length in other post-exilic books. SecondZechariah and, a little bit, the book of Joel, just to prepare us for Daniel. The idea is very influential in the Dead Sea Scrolls and in the writings of the New Testament of course. So a belief in personal immortality, a belief in a general resurrection of the dead — these arise from a negative view of this world as a place where justice can be obtained.

Another note of time is to be found in Baruch 28–“The measure and reckoning of the time are two parts, weeks of seven weeks.” This we regard as two jubilees–i.e. The point to be fixed is the time from which this century is to be reckoned. To our idea it must be from some event connected with the temple. Such an event was the dedication of the temple by Judas Maccabeus in the 148th year of the Seleucid era–that is, 163 BC. A century brings us exactly to the year of Pompey’s capture of Jerusalem and desecration of the temple. Thus three different lines converge in pointing to 60 or 59 BC as the date at which this book was written.

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