Definition: Jewish movement beginning in the second century BC which looked to God’s imminent intervention in history to judge the wicked and reward the righteous.

Origin: Greek word for apokalypsis, meaning “revelation”


The apocalypse or the book of Revelation was written to encourage God’s people to preserve in the face of extreme adversity. In some apocalyptic works God alone appears as the deliver and in others agents of God intervenes (angles or Messiah). Imagery found comes from the Old Testament prophetic eschatology of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Zechariah and Daniel. (Strauss, pg.138)


Apocalypticism contains symbolic, bizarre imagery describing the times and leading up to the end. Olivet Discourse (Mark 13, par.) and the book of Revelation have apocalyptic imagery. Christian apocalypticism is achieved in the past, worked out in the present and completed in the future (different than Jewish apcolypticism). (Strauss, pg.139)


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