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apocalypse

Source:
A Dictionary of the Bible What is This? Contains accessibly written entries for topics covering the religious, historical, and social aspects of the Bible.

    apocalypse

    Though applied especially to the last book in the Bible, the Revelation to John, and called ‘The Apocalypse’, the word means more generally an ‘unveiling’ of divine secrets and in the OT books such as Daniel and parts of Isaiah and Zechariah there are apocalypses. In the NT, Mark 13 is often known as the ‘Little Apocalypse’. In the OT pseudepigrapha there are a number of documents, such as the Apocalypse of Abraham and the Apocalypse of Elijah. Fragments of 1 Enoch are among the Dead Sea scrolls. The apocalypses traverse the whole range of human experience, and beyond, from references to the social setting of the author, such as the trials of persecution (Dan.), to revelations of events to occur at the end of time and disclosures under the guidance of an angel about the ‘seventh heaven’ (2 Enoch). They were all published in Judaism from about 250 BCE until about 200 CE, after which the genre was to be continued by Christian commentators on Revelation such as Abbot Joachim (1132–1202) and Edward Irving (1792–1834) and by Jehovah's Witnesses.

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    Oxford University Press

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