Friday, February 24, 2017

God as the Judge in Apocalyptic Literature

READING ACTS: God as the Judge in Apocalyptic Literature.
A feature of apocalyptic which is drawn from the Hebrew Bible is the belief God will intervene in history to destroy the evil attacking the faithful. The nation of Israel always understood God as their defender. There is a great deal of “warrior language” in the Old Testament, it is God that fights on behalf of the nation. In addition to this, Israel always understood God to be their king.

True both for Jewish apocalypses and for the Jewish apocalytic worldview according to Collins (see here). (And follow the latter link for previous posts in Phil Long's series on the Second Temple Period.)

I would nuance this point a little though. Both 4 Ezra (an "apocalypse") and the Qumran sectarians (with an "apocalyptic" worldview) narrowed the true, faithful, Israel to a limited group within historical Israel. Daniel, the Similitudes, and, e.g., 2 Baruch seem to take a broader view.