This comprehensive work covers many different Jewish and Christian apocalyptic texts and movements from the second century BCE through the fourth century CE. It focuses on two major themes, cosmology – which studies the structure of the universe, including its religious function – and eschatology, which interprets history and the future.
The detailed historical and literary analysis of these themes are introduced by an essay on the cultural gap between the original contexts of these texts and those of readers today and how that gap may be bridged.
The book deals with the interrelations between post-biblical Judaism and early Christianity. The relevant Jewish texts and history are discussed thoroughly in their own right. The Christian material is approached in a way that shows both its continuity with Jewish tradition and its distinctiveness.
Adela Yarbro Collins, Ph.D. (1975) in the Study of Religion, Harvard University, is the Buckinham Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale University. She has published extensively on the book of Revelation and the Gospel of Mark, including
The Beginning of the Gospel: Probings of Mark in Context (
From reviews of the hardcover edition: '
...a comprehensive work covering [...] many different Jewish and Christian texts...’ Eibert J.C. Tigchelaar,
Journal for the Study of Judaism, 1998. '
...welcome collection of articles…In particular, it is good to have her ground-breaking article on the contribution of Revelation to political ethics made more widely available.' C.C. Rowland,
Journal of Theological Studies, 1998.
This volume is important for scholars and advanced students in the fields of Old Testament, post-biblical Judaism, New Testament, early Christian literature, and ancient Mediterranean studies.