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Chapter Summary

The Christian groups who copied and transmitted the Jewish apocalypses are either unknown or removed from the conventional avenues of research pursued by the student of early Judaism. The function of these documents for the religious communities that preserved them is often a matter of speculation. Although formally recognized, the Christian environment in which the Jewish apocalypses were preserved is often treated as a regrettable accident of history standing in the way of the recovery of the original text in its earliest setting. The numerous demonstrably Christian apocalypses that appeared after the first century have also suffered relative neglect. The late date and derivative character of many of the Christian sources partially explain this disinterest. But it also has to do with a widespread preconception that 'real' apocalypses originated in a discrete and identifiable movement in early Judaism and Christianity.

Keywords: Christian apocalypses; Christian sources; first-century Judaism; Jewish apocalypses



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