Other Apocalypses

Sample Jewish Works

1 Enoch (third century–first century BCE): Enoch (from Gen. 5:24) reports on things that he has witnessed in heaven, including astronomical phenomena and preparations for a great judgment to be carried out by one identified as the Son of Man (cf. Dan. 7:9–14).

Apocalypse of Abraham (first century CE): Abraham reports visions granted to him long ago, including ones that explain why God would allow the temple to be destroyed and ones that preview the ultimate vindication of the righteous in the aftermath of that tragedy.

2 Baruch (first century CE): Baruch (the scribe of Jeremiah) recounts visions of the future that depict the successive kingdoms to come, from Babylon to Rome, and describe the ultimate coming of the messiah after a time of calamity.

Apocalyptic elements are found also in the Old Testament books of Ezekiel (40–48), Zechariah (1–8), and Daniel (7–12).

Sample Christian Works

Shepherd of Hermas (second century CE): A Roman named “Hermas” reports five visions, twelve sets of commandments, and ten parables (or similitudes) given to him by an angel who appeared to him in the form of a shepherd.

Ascension of Isaiah (second century CE): This work describes the martyrdom of the prophet Isaiah and his ascent into heaven, where he is witness to Jesus leaving heaven for earth and returning when his work is done.

Apocalypse of Peter (second century CE): Jesus provides Simon Peter with a guided tour through hell and heaven, recounting in some detail the torments and blessings to be found in those places.

Apocalyptic elements are found also in an “eschatological discourse” of Jesus recorded in the Synoptic Gospels (Matt. 24:4–51; Mark 13:3–37; Luke 21:8–36).

For a good collection of Jewish apocalypses, see James H. Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, vol. 1, Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983). For Christian apocalypses, see Bart D. Ehrman, Lost Scriptures: Books That Did Not Make It into the New Testament (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).