How and where did apocalyptic literature originate? What is the relation between apocalyptic literature on the one hand, and prophesy and wisdom literature on the other? Should apocalyptic literature be regarded as a deviation from prophetic literature, or is it a linear development thereof? Wherein lies the difference between prophetic and apocalyptic eschatology? In this artcle a literary study is done to find answers to these questions and it is concluded that apocalypticism does not have a single dominant origin, but that its origins lie in a complexity of factors. The researcher can find a description of these factors only in each unique apocalyptic work. Many historical and cultural factors played a role in the origin of apocalyptic works. A single social background cannot be posited for apocalyptic literature either. The worldview expressed by apocalyptic works does not necessarily represent that of marginalized groups as apocalypticism is rather a way of thinking which permeated the entire Jewish community.
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