The five chapters of this volume, written by four different authors, together investigate the ways in which early Christians appropriated Jewish apocalyptic material. An introductory chapter surveys ancient perceptions of the apocalypses as well as their function, authority, and survival in the early Church. The chapter also raises important issues about the way modern scholars view apocalyptic thought. The second chapter focuses on a specific tradition by exploring the status of the Enoch-literature, the use made of the fallen-angel motif and the identification of Enoch as an eschatological witness. Christian transmission of Jewish texts is a topic whose significance is more and more being recognized, thus chapter htree analyses what happened to 4, 5, and 6 Ezra while being copied and edited within Christian tradition. Chapter four is devoted to regional developments of apocalyptic traditions, particularly by sectarian Christian circles in Egypt. The fifth and last chapter studies the apocalyptic perception of history, especially Daniel's vision of 70 weeks, as used and adapted by early Christian authors.
The question of apocalyptic influence on Jesus and early Christianity is again strongly contested. The issues connected with this question include terminology, genre, historical reconstruction, sectarian self-definition, and many others. This book provides a fresh assessment of the nature and significance of early Christian appropriation of Jewish apocalyptic material.
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