A modern term which summarises the OT hope of a future salvation at the end of the current experience of national humiliation and suffering. Apocalyptic thought therefore takes the form of eschatological [[➝ eschatology]] literature and is usually pseudonymous; it consists of revelations attributed to Abraham, Enoch [[➝ Enoch, books of]], Baruch, and the like. Typically, apocalyptic thought might consist of historical narrative in which the story is told with tolerable accuracy from the time of the alleged author to the actual date of composition, after which the narrative (as in Dan. 11) becomes vague. It reflects a despair of historical process and predicts catastrophic cosmic upheavals and God's salvation of the nation of Israel: it is a literature of hope and consolation. What is at present an age of suffering will be transformed into the joys of paradise; a land conquered by pagans will become a world fulfilled with the glory of God.
Apocalyptic ideas included the notions of a general resurrection and influenced the development of Christian doctrines, such as that of the Second Coming of Christ. Written between 170 BCE and 100 CE, several books in the Apocrypha are apocalyptic, such as 2 Esdras, and there is apocalyptic doctrine among the Dead Sea scrolls. The pre-eminent apocalyptic book in the NT is the Rev., and in the gospels it is a main element in the teaching of Jesus (e.g. Mark 13).

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • Apocalyptic — A*poc a*lyp tic, Apocalyptical A*poc a*lyp tic*al, a. [Gr. ?.] 1. Of or pertaining to a revelation, or, specifically, to the Revelation of St. John; containing, or of the nature of, a prophetic revelation. [1913 Webster] 2. pertaining to,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Apocalyptic — A*poc a*lyp tic ([.a]*p[o^]k [.a]*l[i^]p t[i^]k), Apocalyptist A*poc a*lyp tist, n. The writer of the Apocalypse. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • apocalyptic — (adj.) 1660s, pertaining to the Revelation of St. John in the New Testament, from Gk. apokalyptikos, from apokalyptein (see APOCALYPSE (Cf. apocalypse)). Meaning pertaining to the imminent end of the world evolved by 1880s …   Etymology dictionary

  • apocalyptic — see under REVELATION Analogous words: visionary, imaginary, chimerical, quixotic: *mysterious, arcane, inscrutable: mystic, *mystical, anagogic: grandiose, magnificent, august, *grand …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • apocalyptic — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ resembling the end of the world in being momentous or catastrophic. DERIVATIVES apocalyptically adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • apocalyptic — [ə päk′əlip′tik] adj. 1. of or like an apocalypse 2. of or relating to a sudden and violent end of the world 3. of or constituting a culminating or decisive event, turning point, etc., esp. one that is unsettling or threatening: Also… …   English World dictionary

  • apocalyptic — [[t]əpɒ̱kəlɪ̱ptɪk[/t]] 1) ADJ: usu ADJ n Apocalyptic means relating to the total destruction of something, especially of the world. A young Mongolian journalist saw the news from Moscow in apocalyptic terms. 2) ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n Apocalyptic… …   English dictionary

  • apocalyptic — a|poc|a|lyp|tic [əˌpɔkəˈlıptık US əˌpa: ] adj 1.) warning people about terrible events that will happen in the future ▪ The novel presents us with an apocalyptic vision of the future 2.) connected with the final destruction and end of the world,… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • apocalyptic — also apocalyptical adjective Date: 1663 1. of, relating to, or resembling an apocalypse 2. forecasting the ultimate destiny of the world ; prophetic 3. foreboding imminent disaster or final doom ; …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • apocalyptic — apocalyptically, adv. /euh pok euh lip tik/, adj. 1. of or like an apocalypse; affording a revelation or prophecy. 2. pertaining to the Apocalypse or biblical book of Revelation. 3. predicting or presaging imminent disaster and total or universal …   Universalium

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