APOCALYPSES apocryphal

APOCALYPSES apocryphal Christian apocalyptic literature derived from Jewish apocalyptic literature, which played a very important role in late Jewish culture. Apocalyptic was also born out of the expectation of the Lord’s imminent return in the first centuries and influenced people’s way of thinking during that period. We find apocalyptic fragments in the NT e.g., Mt 24 or Mk 13; the Apocalypse of St. John the question of authorship is still unresolved is the only complete NT apocalypse: from its opening words, Revelation apocalypse of Jesus Christ, comes the technical term apocalypse. The apocalypse in the Didache comes from the 1st2nd c., the Apocalypse of Peter mentioned in the Muratorian Canon and the Ascension of Isaiah come from the 2nd c. The Apocalypse of Paul from which derives a later apocalypse, that of Mary probably comes from the 3rd c. The Christianization of the Jewish apocalypses began at the same time, e.g., that of Esdras or of the Sibylline Books, the latter only partially Christianized, with the particulars of Christian and Jewish influence easily identifiable. We thus have Christian and Christianized apocalypses; apocalypses were also used by the Gnostics. There are some in the texts of Nag Hammadi. Themes of the apocalypses were the punishment of sinners often expressed by terrible curses against them and the end of the world, with the two often linked. Some apocalypses contain descriptions of the sufferings of condemned sinners, others stories of biblical personages who, visiting the hereafter, see the punishments of the various types of sinners giving a picture of the moral state of the society and a valuation of sins. Apocalyptic also gives us an interesting picture of the Christian eschatology of this period. Apocalyptic was not, however, a literary genre per se: we have apocalypses in poetry and prose, in letters, dialogues, revelations, sermons etc. As with other apocrypha, the apocalypses are published under the name of celebrated NT or OT personalities: e.g., Esdras; the apostles: Peter, Paul, John, Thomas and others e.g., apocalypse of ps.-Methodius. The symbolic language images, numbers, antithesis of darkness and light in the apocalypses is usually from the OT and the Jewish world, but there are also folkloric elements. The difference between Christian and Jewish apocalyptic was in the Messiah’s role: awaited by the Jews, already come in Jesus for Christians. The interpreting angel, who could also be Christ, plays an important role in apocalyptic. Apocalypses played an important role in Christian antiquity, and even more so in the Byzantine and Slavic worlds; we find them in all the languages of Christian antiquity. The apocalypses were nevertheless considered as suspect by the church, because of the use made of them by heretics and the prophecies expressed therein; some apocalypses Lat. revelationes were condemned by the Decretum Gelasianum 5,5. This was also the reason for the late acceptance of John’s Apocalypse in the canon of Scripture and for the relative scarcity of commentaries on it. In any case, apocalypses strongly influenced Christian culture, esp. popular beliefs, and flourished in the Middle Ages and the Byzantine world. The collections of NT apocrypha of Elliott, Schneemelcher vol. 2, EAC, Erbetta vol. 3, Moraldi vol. 3, Starowieyski vol. 3 give a selection of apocryphal apocalypses with introductions; likewise for the great collections of OT apocrypha Diez Macho, Sacchi, Charlesworth, see Denis and the collections of the texts of Nag Hammadi gnostic apocalypses. Apocalissi apocrife, A.M. di Nola, Milan 1993; M.C. Lucca, Milan 2000. Most of the works cited below deal with Jewish and Christian apocalyptic. K.H. Schwarte: TRE 3, 1978, 189-289; P. Vielhauer – G. Strecker, Apokalypsen und Verwandtes: Schneemelcher 2, 491-516 bibl.; F.C. Burkitt, Jewish and Christian Apocalypses, London 1913; S.J.D. Seymour, Irish Vision of the Other World, London 1930; J.M. Schmidt, Die j¼dische Apokalyptik, Neukirchen 1969; K. Koch, Ratlos vor der Apokalyptik, Gutersloh 1970; L. Morris, Apocalyptic, Grand Rapids 1972; W. Perkins, Function of Gnostic Apocalypses: CBQ 38 1977 382-395; Apocalypse: The Morphology of a Genre: Semeia 14 1979; L. Gruenwald, Jewish Apocalyptic Literature: ANRW II, 19,1 1979 89-118; J.H. Charlesworth, A History of Pseudepigrapha Research: the Reemerging Importance of Pseudepigrapha: ANRW 2,19,1 1979 54-88; M. Himmelfarb, Tours of Hell: An Apocalyptic Form in Jewish and Christian Literature, Philadelphia 1983; G. Filoramo, Apocalissi gnostiche: Augustinianum 23 1983 123-129; J.J. Collins, The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introducton to the Jewish Matrix of Christianity, New York 1984; D. Hellholm ed., Apocalypticism in the Mediterranean World and Near East, T¼bingen 1985 acts of the congress in Uppsala; Early Christian Apocalypticism: Genre and Social Setting: Semeia 36 1986; M. Delcor, Studi sull’apocaliptica, Brescia 1987; A. Yarbro Collins, Early Christian Apocalyptic Literature: ANRW II, 25, 6 1988 4664-4771; R.J. Bauckham, The Conflict of Justice and Mercy: Attitudes to the Damned in Apocalyptic Literature: Apocrypha 1 1990 181-196; J.J. Collins – J.H. Charlesworth, Mysteries and Revelations, Sheffield 1991; In the Last Days: On Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic and Its Period, FS, B. Otzen, eds. K. Jeppesen, K. Nielsen, B. Rosendal, Aarhus 1994; The Jewish Apocalyptic Heritage in Early Christianity, eds. J.C. VanderKam – W. Adler, Assen, Minneapolis 1996; J.J. Collins, Seers, Sibyls and Sages in Hellenic-Roman Judaism, Leiden 1997; A. Norelli, Pertinence thologique ou canonicit: les premi¨res apocalypses chrtiennes: Apocrypha 8 1997 147-164; R. Bauckham, The Fate of the Dead: Studies on Jewish and Christian Apocalypses, Leiden 1998.Missing Books of the Bible: Esdras Apocalypse in Spanish holidaymapq


APOCALYPSES apocryphal

NT Apocrypha: The Second Apocalypse of John Rick Brannan holidaymapq

APOCALYPSES apocryphal

APOCRYPHA – JewishEncyclopedia.com holidaymapq

APOCALYPSES apocryphal

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