Apocalypticism offers a unique rhetoric of violence. Israelite people experienced violence and domination for centuries under the control of Persians, Greeks, Selucids, Ptolemies, and Roman rulers. Israelite identity was challenged under these occupying forces because the God of Israel was a national God occupying a spatial existence in the Jerusalem Temple. The sovereignty of God and the holiness of the Temple must have been called to question when Jerusalem fell to the dominion of outside empires. In their reality of oppression, evil has broken into the world and divine power must have been thwarted or opposed to explain the suffering of their day. Apocalypticism springs out of this reality to offer solace and hope to the Israelite people while preserving cultic identity.Apocalyptic literature develops a complex and nuanced understanding of how evil entered the world in a cosmic manner. Evil not only is unethical behavior, but a cosmic force which corrupts reality. Paolo Sacchi, scholar of apocalyptic literature, developed an understanding of the genre through understanding the question of evil. The underlying problem is the origin of evil, and the distinctively apocalyptic solution lies in the idea that evil is prior to human will and is the result of an original sin that has irredeemably corrupted creation. Apocalypticism deals with the corruption of evil in many ways because apocalypticism was not only a genre of literature, but also a worldview and a social force in the ancient near east. Communities formed based on apocalypticism, such as the Qumran community and the Jesus movement. These communities lived a reality where the problems of evil were understood through apocalyptic rhetoric and patterned their lives in response to this worldview.
[...] C. Kee, "Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs," in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, ed. James H. Charlesworth, 775-828 (New York: Doubleday, 1983) John Collins, The Apocalyptic Imagination, 139-140. John Collins, The Apocalyptic Imagination,168-170. Ibid Tom Thatcher, “Empty Metaphors and Apocalyptic Rhetoric” G. Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls: Qumran in Perspective (Philadelphia: Fortress Pess, 1981). Carol A Newsom, "Apocalyptic and the Discourse of the Qumran Community," 138. John Collins, The Apocalyptic Imagination, 216-217. Ibid., 182-183. [...]
[...] The genre of apocalyptic literature offers a few differing understandings of the Law. Amongst the entirety of the genre, the mandate of the Law is righteous living and following proper instruction based on divine will. How differing documents work out justice and human agency for wisdom in the rhetoric shows difference. Even in the Similitudes where human wisdom is held in low esteem, righteousness still matters a great deal to Israelite identity. Judgment in Apocalyptic Literature Apocalyptic literature addresses theodicy and God's sovereignty in light of the existence of suffering. [...]
[...] (Testament of Abraham 11:6-12) Fear of death holds dominion over the world and the anxiety of eternal judgment points to evil in human action. Humanity is held to a greater account for their sins Ezra also develops evil through Adam, but describes it differently. the evil about which you ask me has been sown, but the harvest of it has not yet come. If therefore that which has been sown is not reaped, and if the place where the evil has been sown does not pass away, the field where the good has been sown will not come. [...]
[...] Ezra The images of judgment are stark, that the drop of the saved will be compared to the tides of the lost Ezra 9:15-16). Insiders maintain their persecuted, limited identity while drastic judgment is called on the outside persecutors. Following Berquist, longer do the apocalypticists attempt to persuade their colleagues; instead, they await God's intervention to destroy their employing enemies.” The Book of the Watchers offers several visions of judgment to right the cosmic balance. Judgment is not only for individuals, but also for cosmic entities. There are specific punishments for the fallen Watchers and their followers. [...]
[...] "Apocalyptic and the Discourse of the Qumran Community." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 49, no (1990): 135-144. Ricouer, Paul. Time and Narrative. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press Thatcher, Tom. "Empty Metaphors and Apocalyptic Rhetoric." Journal of the American Academy of Religion 66, no (1998): 549-570. Venema, Henry Isaac. Identifying Selfhood. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press Vermes, G. The Dead Sea Scrolls: Qumran in Perspective. Philadelphia: Fortress Pess John Collins, The Apocalyptic Imagination (Grand Rapids: William B. [...]
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