The Book of Revelation Is Not Apocalyptic Literature

It may seem odd to suggest that the book entitled Apocalupsis does not belong to the genre of literature commonly referred to as apocalyptic. Nonetheless that is my suggestion here. The term employed in the title of the book denotes a revelation or disclosure.1 While this particular revealing or disclosing describes a broad swathe of eschatological events, it is not its own literary genre.

Apocalyptic as a genre is described as “characteristically pseudonymous; it takes narrative form, employs esoteric language, expresses a pessimistic view of the present, and treats the final events as imminent.”2 Henry Barclay Swete (Cambridge), even while arguing that Revelation is apocalyptic literature, admits that the book differs from that genre, in that the book of Revelation (1) is not pseudepigraphic, (2) engages a specific audience (seven churches), (3) has a significant church focus, rather than a purely Israel nation-centered focus, and (4) includes notes of insight and foresight that are more indicative of inspiration than is found in earlier extra-biblical apocalyptic literature.3

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Wisdom Psalms or a Wisdom Psalter?

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“Many studies focus on the identity and nature of wisdom psalms. This approach remains controversial in that few interpreters agree on which psalms constitute wisdom psalms.” - DBTS Blog

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Literary Theological Imagination

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“The function of the literary imagination is to incarnate meaning in concrete images, characters, events, and settings rather than abstract or propositional arguments…. Literature and theology are complementary ways of putting us in possession of Christian doctrine. Neither is complete in itself.” - Ref21

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