Seers, Sibyls, and Sages in Hellenistic-Roman Judaism

By John J. Collins | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR
JEWISH APOCALYPTICISM AGAINST ITS HELLENISTIC
NEAR EASTERN ENVIRONMENT

In 1950 G. Ernest Wright published The Old Testament Against Its Environment, which became one of the most influential Englishlanguage books on biblical theology in the subsequent quarter of a century.1 The book has been criticized for its excessive emphasis on the preposition “against” — the différences between ancient Israel and its neighbors.2 Yet it shared the common presupposition of nearly all biblical scholarship in this century, that the Old Testament can only be understood in the light of its Near Eastern context. A comprehension of the surrounding cultures remains a prerequisite to the understanding of the Israelite texts, since the language of the Old Testament, though modified and adapted, was drawn heavily from these cultures.

The importance of the Near Eastern background has been axiomatic in the study of early Israel. However, it has received surprisingly little attention in the study of the post-exilic period. In fact, semiticists in general pay little attention to the period after the rise of Persia. Most of the major reviews of Mesopotamian and Canaanite culture dismiss the Hellenistic period in a few paragraphs.3 Consequently late developments such as Jewish apocalypticism are often explained as intrusive elements of Greek or Persian origin.4

Recently Paul D. Hanson has protested against the neglect of the Semitic component in Jewish apocalypticism.5 Updating the work of Gunkel6 by use of the Ugaritic myths, Hanson argues that apo-

1 G.E. Wright, The Old Testament Against Its Environment (SBT 1/2; Chicago: Regnery, 1950).

2 See the comments of J. Barr, “Trends and Prospects in Biblical Theology,” JTS 25(1974) 267 and B.S. Childs, Biblical Theology in Crisis (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1970) 47–50.

3 E.g. A.L. Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964) 63; H.W.F. Saggs, The Greatness that was Babylon (New York: Hawthorn, 1962) 152–3; S. Moscati, Die Phöniker (Zurich: Kindler, 1966) 65.

4 See the classic work of W. Bousset, Die Religion des Judentums im späthellenistischen Zeitalter (3rd ed.; ed. H. Gressman; Tübingen: Mohr, 1926) 478–84.

5 P.D. Hanson, “Jewish Apocalyptic against its Near Eastern Environment,” RB 78(1971) 31–58; “Old Testament Apocalyptic Re-examined,” Interpretation 25(1971) 454–79.

6 H. Gunkel, Schöpfimg und Chaos (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1895).

-59-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Seers, Sibyls, and Sages in Hellenistic-Roman Judaism
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 438

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.