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Divine Disclosure: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic

D. S. Russell (Author)
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The study of apocalyptic has been David Russell's life-work, and over the years, with the discovery of new material and ongoing study, he has reassessed his earlier interpretation in a number of respects. This new book, written with all the freshness that made his Between the Testaments a classic which is still widely read today, provides a short but comprehensive guide to the latest state of research into apocalyptic. After identifying and redefining the literature, Dr. Russell examines the birth and growth of apocalyptic and investigates the reasons for its popularity. He then goes on to consider particular apocalyptic groups and apocalyptic books, the idea of revelation, and the main ideas of apocalyptic. The book ends with a Christian perspective and a discussion of the significance of apocalyptic for today.

Release date: 
September 1, 1992

Table of Contents



1. The re-birth of apocalyptic study

2. Reasons for this re-birth of interest
a. Availability of new texts
b. Recognition of its importance for theological study
c. Its affinity with today's world

I The Literature: Identification and Definition
1. Books and more books
a. A spate of books
b. The 'outside books': Apocrypha and pseudepigrapha
c. Types of literature
d. The Dead Sea Scrolls

2. Apocalyptic and apocalyptic literature
a. Derivation
b. Identification
c. Methodology

3. A question of definition
a. A confusing situation
b. The listing method
c. A literary phenomenon
d. A three-fold division
e. A theological concept
f. Apocalypse: an attempted definition
g. Conclusion

II Apocalyptic: Its Birth and Growth

1. Apocalyptic and its historical background
a. 'Tracts for the times'
b. Hellenistic culture and Jewish hope
c. Antiochus IV and the Book of Daniel
d. Hasmoneans and Romans

2. The roots of apocalyptic
a. Apocalyptic and prophecy
b. Apocalyptic and wisdom
c. Apocalyptic and scribalism
d. Apocalyptic and the priesthood
e. Apocalyptic and culture

3. The Birth and growth of apocalyptic
a. Conventicles in Israel
b. Two rival factions
c. Groups and parties: 'the wise' and the Hasidim

III Apocalyptic Groups and Apocalyptic Books

1. Apocalyptic groups
2. I Enoch (Ethiopic Book of Enoch)
a. A popular book
b. A composite work
c. A lost tradition

3. The Book of Daniel
a. The name
b. A Daniel tradition?
c. The book

4. The Book of Jubilees
a. Its nature and origin
b. Its teaching

5. Other apocalyptic books
a. The Testament of Moses
b. The Testament of Levi 2-5
c. II Enoch (Slavonic Book of Enoch)
d. The Treatise of Shem
e. The Apocalypse of Abraham
f. The Testament of Abraham
g. The Apocalypse of Zephaniah
h. IV Ezra (II Esdras)
i. II Baruch (Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch)

IV Revelation: Its Reception and Expression 1. Inspiration and revelation
a. Voice of prophecy dumb
b. Revelation through Torah
c. A new revelation: apocalyptic and Torah
d. A new revelation: apocalyptic and prophecy

2. Methods and modes of revelation
a. Pseudonymous authorship
b. Symbolic in language

3. Media of revelation
a. Dream-visions
b. Other worldly journeys
c. Mediation of angels
d. Secret books
e. Meditation on scripture

V Divine Secrets Revealed

1. Cosmology
a. The created world
b. The throne of God

2. History
a. The God of history
b. The unity of history
c. 'Predicting' the past
d. History systematized and predetermined

3. Eschatology
a. The future hope
b. The 'messianic woes'
c. Participation in the Kingdom
d. The transcendence of death
e. The nature of survival
f. Resurrection
g. The Final Judgment

VI Dualism and Apocalyptic

1. Worlds apart
a. Two worlds
b. Two dimensions
c. Two ages

2. Cosmic dualism
a. The 'fall' of the angels
b. In battle array

3. Ethical dualism
a. Two ways
b. Two spirits

VII Messiah and 'Son of Man'

1. Expectation and speculation
a. As king and priest
b. Two eschatolgical prophets
c. The Messiah in heaven

2. Messiah and 'son of man'
a. The expression 'son of man'
b. In Daniel 7.13
c. Later messianic interpretation

VIII Apocalyptic Interpretation: A Christian Perspective

1. In the New Testament
a. The framework of apocalyptic
b. The transformation of apocalyptic

2. Criteria of interpretation
a. The integrity of the texts
b. Prediction, not static but dyna: c. The test of scripture

3. The message of apocalyptic
a. God is in control
b. The Kingdom will come

A Select Bibliography
Index of Texts
Index of Authors
Index of Subjects