The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic
| Prophecy and the Apocalyptic Dream
"the apocalyptist, like the prophet, 'foretold' the purpose of God in his exposition of predictive prophecy. But is there here anything to compare with the prophetic 'forth-telling' in which he declares God's message, not for some far-off distant time, but for that very day and hour? At first sight no such comparison is at all obvious; the apocalyptist's utterances are so often couched in terms of the forecasting of the end. Such a judgement, however, is only an illusion brought about by the curious device of pseudonymity
which gives the reader the impression of 'prediction proper' rather than
of 'history in the guise of prediction'. This device should not blind us
to the fact that, from the point of view of the apocalyptic writers and
indeed from the point of view of the original readers, the End was not
in some far off time but was imminent" (The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic, Philadelphia: Westminster, 1964,, 99.)
"Those [Jewish apocalyptic books] which be not bear the mark of crisis have nevertheless the same not of urgency that the time is short and the End appointed by God is near at hand." (ibid., p. 17)
"The Jewish war of AD 66-70 was fought in the confirmed belief that the people would witness the miraculous intervention of God as declared in the apocalyptic writings." (p. 17)
"The rise and growth of the apocalyptic literature in Judaism is to be seen against the background of one of the most heroic, and at the same time one of the most tragic, period's in Israel's history." (Ibid., p.15)
"L. Ginzberg has pointed out that in the entire rabbinic literature of the first six centuries there is not a single quotation from the extant apocalyptic literature. C.C. Torrey, for example, affirms that from AD70 onwards, so great was the devotion of the Jewish leaders to the Law and the sacred Scriptures, the decision was taken to destroy as undesirable all the Semitic originals of the 'outside books', including the apocalyptic writings, and so effect 'the sudden and complete abandonment by the Jews of their popular literature. Thus, this once-popular literature was discontinued and the ideas which it perpetuated were rejected as dangerous and heretical." (ibid., p. 30)
What do YOU think ?
Submit Your Comments For Posting Here
..Will Be Spam
Filtered and Posted Shortly..