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The Mystical Element In The Gospels And Acts

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Chapter Summary

The Book of Revelation is prime testimony to the existence of a lively visionary, experiential engagement with Scripture in the first century CE. It evinces a mystical dimension which is not unique in the New Testament. It is the more overtly theological works of the New Testament which have been the starting place for discussions of the relationship between Jewish mysticism and the New Testament. This chapter surveys mainly passages from the Synoptic Gospels and Acts in which heaven impinges on earth, whether through angelic appearances, visions, or the identification between inhabitants of heaven and the actors in salvation history. The Gospel of Matthew in particular, it will be suggested, contains an apocalyptic motif which is an important part of its narrative. The chapter concludes with a summary of the critical place apocalyptic themes have in the theological substructure of the Gospel of John.

Keywords: apocalyptic motif; Jewish mysticism; mystical dimension; New Testament; Synoptic Gospels

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