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3 The Mystical Elements in Apocalyptic

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the mystical elements in apocalyptic. Particular attention is given to those apocalyptic books, which describe heavenly ascensions and contain relatively detailed accounts of visions in which God and His hosts of angels appear to the apocalyptic visionaries. Mystical visions had their antecedents in biblical literature. Apocalyptic is much too complex a phenomenon to be explained by an either/or-theory, that is, in the light of either Prophecy or Wisdom. Nor can justice be done to the phenomenon if only one central quality is selected as its more characteristic feature, and the one that allegedly can best explain it. Prophecy and Wisdom both had their respective share in the formation of apocalyptic, but there were also other factors, which contributed in their own ways to endow apocalyptic with its idiosyncratic shape and content.

Keywords: apocalyptic; biblical literature; idiosyncratic shape; mystical elements; prophecy; wisdom



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