In this time of intense apocalyptic interests, Burkitt’s study of extra-biblical apocalypses will shed some light. Burkitt is known for his work in early Christianity, and he is well-equipped to deal with this difficult issue. These Schweich Lectures of 1913 address the book of Enoch, minor Jewish and early Christian apocalypses, especially the Ascension of Isaiah.
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In this time of intense apocalyptic interests, the reappearance of Burkitt’s
Jewish and Christian Apocalypses is timely indeed. A subject over which there is remarkable confusion, apocalyptic material continues to capture the public imagination. Burkitt approaches this biblical subject by first exploring the idea of apocalypse itself. Turning his considerable knowledge on the late Jewish and early Christian communities toward the issue, he considers the book of Enoch and the minor Jewish apocalyptic writings before engaging early Christian apocalypses, particularly the Ascension of Isaiah. The appendices deal with the Greek text of Enoch, the Martyrdom of Isaiah, and other kinds of apocalypses. While Daniel and Revelation - the biblical apocalypses - are not dealt with in any direct way, the reader gains a sense of context that helps to understand these perplexing books. These observations were originally delivered as the Schweich Lectures of 1913.
Francis Crawford Burkitt (1864-1935) began his academic career as a student of mathematics. While at Cambridge University he moved to the study of Divinity, eventually becoming the Norrisian Professor. His interest in the text of the New Testament led him to study Syriac manuscripts and to publish widely in the field. He was a fellow of the British Academy.