Every significant layer of the New Testament features the distinctive concerns of apocalyptic literature, including the expectation of a messiah, hope for a resurrection, expectation of a final judgment, and a spiritual world that includes angels and demons. Yet many contemporary readers shy away from things apocalyptic, especially the book of Revelation.This introduction considers the influence of apocalyptic literature throughout the Gospels and Acts, Pauls letters, and Revelation. It argues that early Christian authors drew upon apocalyptic topics to address an impressive array of situations and concerns, and it demonstratesexample after examplehow apocalyptic discourse contributed to their ongoing work of contextual theology.
Engaging and readable, this book leads readers through the rich and sometimes confusing world of apocalyptic literature. It is definitely a book I will use in my classes and recommend to anyone seeking insight into the historical and social meaning of these important writings.
Lynn R. Huber, Associate Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, Elon University
Greg Carey has written a clear and readable introduction to apocalypticism in the New Testament. This is an excellent antidote to the rampant abuse and misuse of this material in popular culture.
John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Yale Divinity School, Yale University
Greg Careys book is clear, cogently argued, and accessible to clergy, laity, and academy. He has persuasively demonstrated that the expectation of a messiah and all that this expectation entailed were thoroughly apocalyptic concepts. Understanding this one simple fact gives meaning to the New Testament in ways that no other socioreligious factors could. Readers will see how apocalyptic discourse bolstered the hopes of Jewish communities constantly under duress and also early Christian communities that were often marginalized, ridiculed, or crushed under social constraints.
Thomas B. Slater, Professor of New Testament, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University
In this concise but wonderfully thorough volume, Greg Carey uses his considerable talents and expertise to offer an ideal introduction to apocalyptic literature in the New Testament. But dont let the title mislead you: Carey covers the full gamut of issues pertaining to the apocalyptic and treats all of the crucial topics, including background, context, sources, and noncanonical apocalyptic texts (to name a few). His emphasis on the rhetorical flexibililtyeven poetryof apocalyptic material is particularly fresh and insightful. The end result is a volume that will be the go-to resource for both students and teachers alike.
Brent A. Strawn, Professor of Old Testament, Candler School of Theology, Emory University