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date: 23 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses general issues concerned with seeking to define a/the genre of an ‘apocalypse’, as well as the question of how far such texts are ‘Christian’, ‘Jewish’, or non-Christian texts valued and read by Christans. It describes apocalypses of three types: (1) revelations of the course of history and the end of history; (2) revelations of the other world, including the places of the dead; (3) revelations in answer to questions. It also describes prophetic works of two types: (1) those modelled on Old Testament prophecy; (2) Sibylline Oracles. More detailed discussion is devoted to four major examples of early Christian apocalypses: the Ascension of Isaiah and the apocalypses of Peter, Paul, and Thomas.

Keywords: apocryphal apocalypses, apocryphal prophetic literature, eschatology, heaven, hell, Ascension of Isaiah, Apocalypse of Peter, Apocalypse of Paul, Apocalypse of Thomas

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