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Apocalypse, Prophecy, and Pseudepigraphy: On Jewish Apocalyptic Literature

, 2015
ISBN: 9780802872852

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John J. Collins is a highly regarded expert on Jewish apocalyptic texts, and has written extensively on the subject over the last 15 years. Apocalypse, Prophecy, and Pseudepigraphy brings 19 of his essays together for the first time, including previously unpublished contributions.

After an introductory essay that revisits the problem of defining Apocalypse as a literary genre, Collins deals with a number of different topics, including the relationship between apocalypse and prophecy and the troubling ethical issues raised by apocalyptic texts. Collins also examines several specific examples to show the themes and variation present in the genre. Organized in five sections, these thematic essays complement and enrich Collins’ well-known book The Apocalyptic Imagination.

For more by John J. Collins, check out The Apocalyptic Imagination.

Resource Experts

Key Features

  • Examines the themes and variation in apocalyptic texts
  • Contains 19 essays on Jewish apocalyptic texts
  • Enriches Collins’ book The Apocalyptic Imagination


  • The Eschatology of Zechariah
  • The Beginning of the End of the World in the Hebrew Bible
  • Apocalypticism and the Transformation of Prophecy in the Second Temple Period
  • Enochic Judaism: An Assessment
  • The Genre of the Book of Jubilees
  • The Sibyl and the Apocalypses: Generic Relationships in Hellenistic Judaism and Early Christianity
  • Gabriel and David: Some Reflections on an Enigmatic Text
  • The Idea of Election in 4 Ezra
  • Jerusalem and the Temple in Jewish Apocalyptic Literature of the Second Temple Period
  • Journeys to the World Beyond in Ancient Judaism
  • The Afterlife in Apocalyptic Literature
  • Pseudepigraphy and Group Formation in Second Temple Judaism
  • Enoch and Ezra
  • Sibylline Discourse
  • Ethos and Identity in Jewish Apocalyptic Literature
  • Apocalypse and Empire
  • Cognitive Dissonance and Eschatological Violence: Fantasized Solutions to a Theological Dilemma in Second Temple Judaism
  • Radical Religion and the Ethical Dilemmas of Apocalyptic Millenarianism

Top Highlights

“ revelation might be introduced as a vision, or a dream of the night, or a ‘word,’ or just by a verb, such as ‘I saw.’” (Page 3)

“Much of Jewish apocalyptic literature was inspired by three major crises that befell Jerusalem and its temple” (Page 160)

“The sectarians could not participate in the sacrifices in the temple. Instead they recited their songs about the heavenly temple, where they participated in their imagination. This procedure is in fact typically apocalyptic. When the actual empirical world is out of joint, the apocalypses imagine an alternative universe where everything is in order.” (Page 168)

“In Ezekiel’s view, the disaster that befell Israel was caused by the failure to protect the sanctity of the temple. In future, ‘no foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and flesh’ is to enter the sanctuary (44:9).” (Page 161)

“inaugurated a tradition of speculation about an ideal temple and city” (Page 162)

Praise for the Print Edition

Collins has made Second Temple Judaism accessible like few other scholars, offering an authoritative voice that often determines the course of ideas and scholarship in the field. These essays not only provide a marvelous summary of the field at large but also establish a trajectory for future study. An indispensable volume for the student of early apocalyptic literature.

Matthias Henze, Watt J. and Lilly G. Jackson Professor in Biblical Studies, Rice University

Brilliant. . . . Collins’ leading scholarship is always adorned with clarity and creativity. The essays gathered here, including several previously unpublished, provide his assessment of the field since the 1970s, dealing lucidly with the major issues, including pseudepigraphy, ethics, and politics. This will become a milestone collection on apocalyptic studies.

—Michael E. Stone, professor emeritus of Armenian Studies and Comparative Religion, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

  • Title: Apocalypse, Prophecy, and Pseudepigraphy: On Jewish Apocalyptic Literature
  • Author: John J. Collins
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Print Publication Date: 2015
  • Logos Release Date: 2017
  • Pages: 399
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Bible. O.T. › Criticism, interpretation, etc; Apocalyptic literature › History and criticism
  • ISBNs: 9780802872852, 0802872859
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T02:11:22Z

John J. Collins was a professor of Hebrew Bible at the University of Chicago from 1991 until his arrival at Yale Divinity School in 2000. He has published widely on the subjects of apocalypticism, wisdom, Hellenistic Judaism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. His books include the commentary on Daniel in theHermeneia seriesThe Apocalyptic Imagination, and Between Athens and Jerusalem: Jewish Identity in the Hellenistic Diaspora. He has served as editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature and as president of both the Catholic Biblical Association and the Society of Biblical Literature.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


2 ratings

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  1. Alessandro



  2. Phillip J. Long
    Great book, my full review is here: https://readingacts.com/2016/05/26/book-review-john-j-collins-apocalypse-prophecy-and-pseudepigraphy/


Digital list price: $26.99
Save $5.00 (18%)