Not the End of the World as We Know It

Steven L. McKenzie

in How to Read the Bible

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780195161496
Published online April 2009 |
Not the End of the World as We Know It

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This chapter explores the misunderstanding of apocalyptic literature. It begins with a discussion of the origin, definition, and intent of apocalyptic literature. It then analyzes the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. It argues that the book of Daniel simply makes use of the conventions of the genre of apocalyptic literature, which were widely accepted at the time of its writing. Daniel was designed to encourage Jews suffering persecution. It offers the abiding message of hope that God is in control of time and human affairs, and that God has a long-range plan that will reward the faithful and righteous and guarantee the destruction of evil. The chapter further argues that the point of Revelation is not to summarize world or church history in cryptic terms, nor is it meant to predict the time and circumstances of the end of the world. Its purpose is to encourage Christians undergoing cultural and religious persecution to remain faithful by assuring them that God is in charge, that right will eventually triumph over evil, and that they will be rewarded for their perseverance.

Keywords: Apocalypse; Daniel; Revelation; Jews; Christians; hope; faith

Chapter.  12542 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies ; Biblical Studies

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