This volume deals with Jewish and Christian apocalyptic texts and movements from the second century BCE through the fourth century CE. It focuses on two major themes, cosmology and eschatology; that is, views of structure of the universe including its religious function and interpretations of 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 which shows both its continuity with Jewish tradition and its distinctiveness.