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The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature (The Biblical Resource Series) Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John J. Collins is Holmes professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale Divinity School and has served as president of both the Society of Biblical Literature and the Catholic Biblical Association. His many books include

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Product Details

  • File Size: 1243 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0802843719
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing; 2nd edition (August 4, 2010)
  • Publication Date: August 4, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003YCQ8W0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #593,382 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Virgil Brown VINE VOICE on July 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
John Collins is probably the foremost scholar on apocalyptic literature today. Quite rightly Collins begins his book with a definition of this genre. Apocalypticism is "revelatory liturature in a which a revelation is mediated by an otherworldly being to a human recipient." Is that all? No, there's more that Collins has in mind. This revelation discloses a transcendent reality which envisages eschatological salvation (temporal) and another supernatural world (spatial).

With this definition in mind, Collins excludes much which had been called apocalyptic literature. He excludes Akkadian literature and the more modern political apocalypticism (see
Zimbaro's _Enc of Apoc Lit_) and discounts Persian apocalypticism. Then Collins begins a survey of apocalypticism as he knows it, beginning with the Book of Enoch. The reader is then taken through the Book of Daniel and other 2nd Temple, Diaspora, and Qumran literature until one arrives at early Christianity.

Along the way, what had seemed to be the parameters of a well-defined genre of literature have expanded. When Collins begins to discuss Christian literature, it becomes apparent that that book which had lent its name to Collins' genre of literature was not a pure form of that genre. On page 269 Collins must concede that the Revelation of John is not just an apocalypse but revelation _and_ prophecy.

Collins concludes that apocalypticism was not just the work of one group or movement, but different groups during different situations aand time, and maybe there was no group or movement behind a particular piece of literature at all (p 281).
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Wes Howard-Brook on July 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
As mentioned by others, John Collins is probably the leading scholar of apocalyptic literature, as well as other intertestamental Jewish writings. This volume remains the best, basic introduction to the scope of the vast literature and how it developed over several hundred years. Collins takes just enough of a close-up to intrigue those who want to know more, but not overwhelm those who are just beginning.

As I was doing my initial research on what became my own "Unveiling Empire: Reading Revelation Then and Now" (1999) this book was a steady guide.

I'd also highly recommend Collins' Between Athens and Jerusalem: Jewish Identity in the Hellenistic Diaspora (The Biblical Resource Series) as well as his Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age (Old Testament Library). Collins is a master of the introductory overview!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Crouch on February 10, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a good technical coverage of Apocalyptic Literature - and I especially enjoyed the Author's coverage of Enoch and other Pseudopigrapha.

I am more conservative then the Author, and thus don't except all his assumptions about the Book of Daniel - however I did like that the Author at least gave some reasons for why he doesn't accept the Conservative approach rather (as far too many do) just being dismissive.

I also found his examination of the Apocalyptic in the Early Christian Sphere quite enlightening and gave me a fair bit to think about - once again I have a far more conservative view to the Gospels than the Author, but he does help to paint a better picture of First Century Christianity. His examination of Revelation was good, but I think a little short - I would've appreciate a bit more coverage of the imagery - but what the Author does include and how he compares to Jewish Apocalyptic is most interesting.

Not a book for the beginner, but a worthwhile edition to the Library of any serious Bible Student - and I found the book to be a pleasant read :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pastor Tim on January 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Collins provides an excellent introduction of Jewish apocalyptic literature, vital to better understanding of Christian apocalyptic such as the book of Revelation. An intriguing read for anyone trying to deepen their understanding of New Testament apocalyptic literature.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By doug.h on May 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very balanced presentation of the apocalyptic material. Collins handles the Jewish source materials in their original contexts and assesses them fairly for meaning and theological/eschatological intent. He is not afraid to handle the christian apocalypse of Revelation without either seeking to use it to critique its Jewish sources or using them to critique it. This book is not polemical and a great introduction to the apocalyptic corpus.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William G. Gartig on January 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book some years ago (in the 80s or 90s, I think), and it was one of the most important books I have ever read for me personally. Reading the non-canonical apocalyptic literature (which Collins guided me through with The Apocalyptic Imagination and other of his works) that came from the time of the canonical apocalyptic passages (Daniel, Revelation, and others) enabled me to say that the canonical stuff was the same sort of thing as the non-canonical stuff and not something sui generis that should be interpreted in some special, non-historical way, as if it had dropped from heaven and had an origin entirely different from the non-canonical literature. In The Apocalyptic Imagination I felt I had a trustworthy guide through the entire tradition, canonical and non-canonical. I am using The Apocalyptic Imagination as one of two required textbooks for a course I am currently teaching at Northern Kentucky University entitled "Apocalyptic Visions and World Religions."
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