In the Old Testament, apocalyptic literature (or simply ‘apocalyptic’, as the genre is often called) might not seem to occupy a prominent place. Only the book of Daniel falls into this category. Despite its poor representation in the Bible, apocalyptic literature is not a fringe activity; nor are its contents peripheral to an understanding of Judaism (or Christianity, for that matter). This article focuses on the book of Daniel, the main Old Testament exemplar, and the book of 1 Enoch, which contains the earliest and in many respects most important Palestinian Jewish apocalypses.
Paul S. Fiddes
The story of the passion of Jesus Christ, in its earliest forms, was already shaped by interpretation. This was the story of a man – who had announced the coming of the Kingdom of God and who had presumed to offer forgiveness, healing, and an acceptance of social outcasts on behalf of the God whom he called Father – which ended in agonizing execution and an experience of forsakenness by friends, fellow countrymen, and his God. The four Evangelists try to grapple with the mystery of ‘atonement’, the belief that through this death a union has been achieved between the Creator and a rebellious creation. When the story of the passion is told in English poetry and prose, one can identify versions of the great models and metaphors of atonement that were developed in Christian theology.