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Jewish Mysticism, The New Testament And Rabbinic-Period Mysticism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offer the evidence to substantiate the majority view and some discussion of the New Testament (NT) and the rabbinic attitude towards mystical theology and practice. Most non-Christian Jewish Apocalypses cannot be taken as direct evidence for, let alone a record of, the visionary experiences of isolated individuals who ascend to heaven, tour the cosmos and encounter interpreting angels. Mysticism is regularly judged irrational and wild. Indeed, the NT is probably our most significant witness to the presence of mystical traditions in pre 70 CE Judaism. In the synoptic gospels, the Baptism, Temptation and Transfiguration stories all ascribe to Jesus experiences that place him within the matrix of Jewish mystical tradition. The book of Revelation has many parallels to Jewish apocalyptic and later mystical traditions, especially in its opening vision of God and the enthroned lamb.

Keywords: God; Jewish Apocalypses; Judaism; Mysticism; New Testament (NT); rabbinic attitude; synoptic gospels



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