Dec 29, 2017

Questioning Apocalyptic

I have long struggled with apocalyptic both as a phenomenon and as a genre. It is not so much that I don't understand what is said about these but rather how the term apocalyptic and the baggage that comes with it is applied to books in the Bible (e.g., Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, Revelation). Too often it seems that the label is used much like a hermeneutical trump card. Merely playing the card means this or that. But labeling a text is not interpreting it. There also seems to be a fair amount of circularity in the process. Certain texts are determined to be apocalyptic and therefore we derive a definition of apocalyptic based on characteristics noted in the books. In turn we say that a certain book is apocalyptic because it fits a definition that we derived from books we have already determined were apocalyptic. I hope that makes sense. In any case, Paul Henenbury raises some issues here that resonate with me. But I will have to wait until his forthcoming fuller discussion is available to assess his critique overall. 

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