Tag Archives: apocalyptic literature

Prophecy and Apocalyptic Annotated Bibliography

IBR bibliography

As any student can attest, research can be a difficult but rewarding venture. My research generally follows a common pattern: after my own exegetical work, I begin the task of gathering “conversation partners” (ie. sources). This step can often be daunting for those new to a particular field or even new to the research process itself. Questions like “what if I leave out some authoritative source?” or “has my topic been exhaustively covered in some old monograph somewhere?” can often plague the minds of a careful researcher. For this reason it is good to have some “go-to” resources handy.

One such resource for me is the IBR (Institute of Biblical Research) bibliography series. The purpose of these works is to compile and evaluate works in a particular field of biblical studies (Pentateuch, Jesus, Old Testament Introduction, New Testament Theology, ect.) in an easily accessible format for the student or researcher.

I have greatly benefitted particularly from the volume on Prophecy and Apocalyptic, compiled by D. Brent Sandy and Daniel M. O’Hare. This book is a wealth of information on the background, literary features, and interpretive issues in prophetic/apocalyptic literature.

The bibliography is divided into two sections (Prophecy and Apocalyptic), with each section further arranged by resources on: 1) Information and Orientation; 2) Definition and Identification; 3) Conception and Communication; 4) Composition and Compilation (Prophetic section only); and 5) Transmission and Interpretation. Each segment contains lists of important works, summarized by the authors with the major contribution of the work identified.

One additional benefit for most students will be the emphasis on literature in English. While many significant works on prophecy have originated in German and French, the authors focus on books published , or at least translated, into English. For those who have not brushed on their research languages, this feature can save time while simultaneously sparing you the guilt of omitting works that appear important but are not accessible. We all know that Google Translate can only take you so far.

Of course, as with any work of this nature, the book can be outdated before it was even released. Since its publication in 2007, more research has been done in each area addressed by the volume. Regardless, the resources included in this bibliography provide a good starting point for a researcher. Gaining a handle of the standard works on a particular topic is always a good starting place. There is no doubt that, in some cases, this work can save students and researchers alike a significant amount of time performing complex database searches and shelf browsing. As I once read in a review of another monograph, “if this resource is not on your shelf, it is in the wrong place.”

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A New Reading of the Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch

Animal apoc

Brill has just announced a forthcoming translation and commentary on the Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch (1 Enoch 85-90) authored by St. Mary’s College (Moraga, CA) professor Daniel C. Olson. In addition to a fresh translation, a notable feature of the book is the interpretive perspective that the author takes. Here is an excerpt from the publisher’s page:

Daniel Olson argues that the promise of universal blessing in the Abrahamic covenant is presented in the Animal Apocalypse as the governing dynamic in a sacred history that begins and ends with humanity in general. The authentic Jacob/Israel will appear in the end times and be the catalyst of universal salvation.

Intriguing indeed. The book is scheduled for release next month, but you can order it here.

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The Latest Review of Biblical Literature

Apoc                       Text crit

The most recent edition of the Review of Biblical Literature contains a couple worthwhile reads. Though a 2011 volume on Hosea was reviewed, it does not make my list of suggestions. While the book claims to take a fresh literary perspective on the text of Hosea, this approach is coupled with a feminist and psychoanalytical perspective; a combination that does not generally win my interest.

But, two monographs that do look appealing are Frederick J. Murphy’s Apocalypticism in the Bible and Its World: A Comprehensive Introductionas well as Textual Criticism and Dead Sea Scrolls Studies in Honour of Julio Trebolle Barrera: Florilegium Complutense edited by Pablo A. Torijano Morales and Andrés Piquer Otero. I have referenced Murphy’s work before, but am glad to see it reviewed by both Adela Yarbro Collins and by Marius Nel, both of whom have dealt extensively with apocalyptic literature. The volume on textual criticism, reviewed by Andrea Ravasco, has a list of contributors that is nothing less than stellar. In each case, the reviews provide helpful summaries of the books.

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