The apocalyptic works collected in the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha reflect the hope that God would intervene directly in history in order to deliver His people from their oppressors. Now these oppressors changed over time; first the Persians, then the Greeks, then the Romans. Regardless of the oppressive power, many felt the need for deliverance.

In an effort to encourage the faithful to remain faithful during those trying times authors took pen to paper and wrote treatises which described God's ultimate victory over his enemies and the concomitant fact that God's people would also triumph over their enemies (which were, without any surprise, equated with God's enemies!).

The best known member of the apocalyptic family of writings is the New Testament book of Revelation, which was also written during a period of persecution in order to encourage the faithful to remain steadfast. Portions of Mark (13), Daniel (7-12) and Isaiah (24-27) are also apocalyptic.

The pseudepigraphal texts collected in volume one of Charlesworth's collection, Enoch, The Sibylline Oracles, and the Apocalypse of Adam as well as several others also belong to this genre of literature.


Read Charleswoth, vol 1, pages 1-680.