The lens through which the contributors to The Jewish Apocalyptic Tradition and the Shaping of the New Testament Thought study and explain New Testament books is a specific one. Whereas the popular meaning of apocalyptic is either ‘the end of the world is near’ or ‘secretive and mystic’, the eschatological exegesis is an element in this genre, and the literal meaning of apocalypse is a revelation. Exactly that is sought from each of the 26 books in the New Testament, borrowing from Second Temple Judaism, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and pseudepigraphic literature.
Eschatology is not necessarily a point of departure in apocalyptic writings and the revelation of heavenly mysteries. The book focuses on the disclosure of wisdom, the role of angels in the gospels, heavenly visions by e.g. Paul and John the Revelator, and the way the early church treated revelations and prophecies as part of their practices. Apocalyptic literature gives hope to the righteous by looking beyond death. God’s plans, natural phenomena, Christology, and pointing the way to get saved are some of the functions these revelations have. Knowledge of Greek is not mandatory, but certainly helpful studying the references. The book costs you 15+ hours of reading but will refresh your knowledge and understanding of the New Testament.
About the authors
Benjamin E. Reynolds is associate professor of New Testament at Tyndale University College in Toronto, Canada. He is author of The Apocalyptic Son of Man in the Gospel of John.
Loren T. Stuckenbruck is chair of New Testament and Second Temple Judaism at Evangelisch-Theologische Fakultät, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich. His numerous works include Angel Veneration and Christology: A Study in Early Judaism and in the Christology of the Apocalypse of John and a commentary on 1 Enoch 91-108 in the Commentaries in Early Jewish Literature series.
I received a free review copy from Fortress Press through Edelweiss in exchange for my personal, unbiased review upon reading.