Divine Disclosure: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic

Divine Disclosure: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic

Divine Disclosure: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic

Divine Disclosure: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic

Synopsis

The study of apocalyptic has been David Russell's life-work, and over the years, with the discovery of new material and ongoing study, he has reassessed his earlier interpretation in a number of respects. This new book, written with all the freshness that made his Between the Testaments a classic which is still widely read today, provides a short but comprehensive guide to the latest state of research into apocalyptic. After identifying and redefining the literature, Dr. Russell examines the birth and growth of apocalyptic and investigates the reasons for its popularity. He then goes on to consider particular apocalyptic groups and apocalyptic books, the idea of revelation, and the main ideas of apocalyptic. The book ends with a Christian perspective and a discussion of the significance of apocalyptic for today.

Excerpt

The subject of Jewish apocalyptic was complicated enough when I first ventured into print on the subject more than thirty years ago. Since then it has grown, not only in importance, but also in complexity so that it has become increasingly difficult, for the general reader at any rate, to 'see the wood for the trees'.

For some time I have felt the need for a short, but fairly comprehensive, Introduction which, hopefully, might help towards a better understanding of the subject without entering into too many technical details. This short Introduction is offered with that aim in view. Much more could have been written and more detail supplied, but that might well have undermined the aim of the book to keep the treatment as uncomplicated as possible. Some of the ground covered here I have already covered in other writings; but I have taken the opportunity to indicate where my judgments have changed and have attempted to explain the reasons why.

The immediate occasion for the writing of the book was an invitation received from McMaster Divinity College in Canada to deliver a series of lectures on Jewish apocalyptic to a group of 'mature' lay students whose knowledge of the subject was minimal. I am most grateful to the Principal and to the other members of staff, as well as to the student body, for the opportunity thus given and for the warmth of their reception. the lectures given on that occasion have been rewritten in the hope that they will be found helpful to a wider readership.

My indebtedness to many scholars will be obvious throughout the book, an indebtedness which, I trust, I have properly acknowledged.

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