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Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic Literature

            1 Enoch is one of the foundational texts of Jewish apocalyptic literature. 1 Though not an official part of the Jewish canon, Enoch's journey into the realm of angels, and God's revelation of "all mysteries" (Enoch 59:2) regarding the end of days and the salvation of the elect do form an important scaffolding upon which subsequent Jewish apocalyptic literature is built. (Couliano 1991) Scholars believe that Enoch was composed by several different authors over the span over 200 years, from the third to first century before Christ.2 The Revelation of St. John, one of the foundational Christian apocalyptic texts (Vanderkam 1996), was written at the end of the first century AD3. It is in several ways strikingly similar to Enoch's otherworldly journey. Both texts make reference to the Lamb(s) of God, to a messianic figure who will herald the end of days, to the beasts (dragons and leviathons) who will raze the earth of sinners, and both texts describe a very similar process by which this earth will be destroyed, and replaced by the eternal "holy city." (Revelation 22:20) Because the texts share several similarities in style and symbolic usage, there is some scholarly debate as to whether or not Enoch (Book 1 and The Book of Dreams) is the template for The Revelation to St. John, or if the Revelation was written with little reference to this particular Jewish apocalyptic text (Couliano 1991). In a close reading of the two texts it is clear that Revelation and Enoch draw from a shared pool of .
             apocalyptic symbols and numerological concepts. However, a careful analysis of the thematic and theological differences between the two texts provides evidence that Enoch is not, in fact, the foundational text of the Revelation to St. John. In this paper, a review of the literature regarding Enoch's influence on Revelation will be followed by an analysis of the similarities and differences in the symbols and themes of Enoch and the Revelation of St.

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