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Trajectories in Near Eastern Apocalyptic: A Postrabbinic Jewish Apocalypse Reader
John C Reeves; John C. Reeves, editor
RBS 45
Publication Date
October 2005


061714PModern treatments of Jewish apocalyptic usually terminate their discussions of this literature with the triumph of Rome over nationalist rebels at the time of the Second Jewish Revolt (132-135 C.E.). They hence fail to appreciate the impact of the subsequent rise of scriptural authority for the Abrahamic religions and the renewed vitality of the apocalyptic genre as a favored literary vehicle for the expression of social and cultural concerns by the major Near Eastern religious communities during the second half of the first millennium C.E. The present volume begins the process of righting this imbalance by providing an English-language anthology of a series of influential Jewish apocalypses emanating from the Near East from roughly the early seventh to the mid-twelfth centuries C.E. Each text is newly translated into English and provided with an annotated commentary that elucidates its historical, literary, and religious contexts.

John C. Reeves is Blumenthal Professor of Judaic Studies at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is the author of Heralds of That Good Realm: Syro-Mesopotamian Gnosis and Jewish Traditions (Brill) and the editor of Tracing the Threads: Studies in the Vitality of Jewish Pseudepigrapha (Scholars Press) and Bible and Qur’an: Essays in Scriptural Intertextuality (Society of Biblical Literature).

“This fascinating and immensely helpful book … provides scholarship with accurate English translations of works which are often very difficult to access and for which no other English (for some, no modern language) translation exists. It should therefore prove helpful to a large range of scholars and students. … It is to be hoped that Reeves will follow this volume with another, or others, which supply translations of the Christian and Muslim sisters of these late apocalypses.”
— Darrell Hannah, Journal for the Study of the New Testament