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Josephus: Henry Leeming: Josephus' Jewish War and Its Slavonic Version: A Synoptic Comparison (2003) "This volume presents in English translation the Slavonic version of Josephus Flavius' "Jewish War, long inaccessible to Anglophone readers, according to N.A. Materskej's scholarly edition, together with his erudite and wide-ranging study of literary, historical and philological aspects of the work, a textological apparatus and commentary. The synoptic layout of the Slavonic and Greek versions in parallel columns enables the reader to compare their content in detail. It will be seen that the divergences are far more extensive than those indicated hitherto."

Josephus Pleads Still


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Apocalyptic Genre | Anti-Semitism Study Archive | Masada | The Month of Av | Scientific Date for Destruction of Herod's Temple | Stone Piles that Memorialize Jerusalem's Destruction | Map of The Siege of Jerusalem | The Jewish Struggle Against Roma | Differentiating Judaism from Christianity | The Books of Enoch | Second Destruction of Jerusalem // The Talmud

On Tisha Be'AV

Die Zerstörung des Tempels von Jerusalem - Francesco Hayez (1867)

Historical Jewish Sources
Apocalyptic Genre: "Turn of Era" Lit. Exploring Eschatological Salvation

Torah - Or "TaNaKh", an acronym denoting these three sections:
    -  Torah (Teaching)
    -  Nevi’im (Prophets) -  Former (Deuteronomic Code); Latter (Literary)
     - Ketuvim (Writings) Canonical Collection From Post-Prophetic Age
Talmud - Documents that Comment and Expand Upon Mishnah
      - Mishnah 1st-2nd Century Rabbinic Study Book of Laws/Values
      - Gamara (Agadah - Tales and Morals ; Halacha - Code of Jewish Law)
          - Babylonian ("Bavli") Gemara (200-600)
          - Palestinian ("Yerushalmi") Gemara (200-500)

Midrash Exegetical Interpretation of the Torah's Text
      - Halakhah - Interpreting Law and Religious Practice
      - Aggadah - Biblical Narrative ; Ethics, Theology, Homily (200-1000)
Targums - Translations of the Bible into Jewish Aramaic
Dead Sea Scrolls - Collection of Materials Found in Judean Desert
Josephus - One of World's All-Time Greatest Non-Biblical Historians
Apocalyptic Genre - "Turn of Era" Lit. Exploring Eschatological Salvation
Liturgical Texts - Routine Prayers Said Spontaneously
Reference Works - Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Concordances

Jewish Apocalyptic Genre:
"Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs"

"Therefore the temple which the Lord shall choose shall be desolate in uncleanness, and ye shall be captives throughout all nations, and ye shall be an abomination among them, and ye shall receive reproach and everlasting shame from the righteous judgment of God; and all who see you shall flee from you."


"a genre of revelatory literature with a narrative framework, in which a revelation is mediated by an otherworldly being to a human recipient, disclosing a transcendent reality which is both temporal, insofar as it envisages eschatological salvation, and spatial insofar as it involves another, supernatural world."  Renan

See Also:
Dead Sea Scrolls Archive | Jewish Sources | Testament of Moses | Pseudepigrapha Online

Note: The literary genre called 'apocalyptic' is collected and organized here in such a way as to show the progression of eschatological thought in the late Second Temple period.  One goal will be to show the writers' expectations of an imminent end, and how the ultimate expectation of a 'final end of the world' in the events surrounding the great eschatological event (the conquering of the Gentiles to them, the fall of Jerusalem and its temple to us) was a misapprehension of the nature of fulfillment found in the advent of Jesus Christ - who was denied as the Way of Victory.   Another goal will be to show how the demise of apocalyptic literature following the final end of the Jewish state lends support to the Preterist idea of prophetic fulfillment associated with that desolation.  Christian works written in the first generation following AD70 -- most of which display the sense of vindication felt as a result of the fall of Jerusalem -- will be presented as the capstone of the apocalyptic genre.

"Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs"
Referenced in Origen (Hom. in Joshua. 15.6) and Jerome (Tractatus de Psalmo 15)

9. Mark the waters, that they flow together, and sweep along stones, trees, sand; but if they are divided into many streams, the earth sucketh them up, and they become of no account. So also shall ye be if ye be divided. Divide not yourselves into two heads, for everything which the Lord made hath but one head; He gave two shoulders, hands, feet, but all the members are subject unto the one head. I have learnt by the writing of my fathers, that in the last days ye will depart from the Lord, and be divided in Israel, and ye will follow two kings, and will work every abomination, and every idol will ye worship, and your enemies shall lead you captive, and ye shall dwell among the nations with all infirmities and tribulations and anguish of soul. And after these things ye will remember the Lord, and will repent, and He will lead you back; for He is merciful and full of compassion, not imputing evil to the sons of men, because they are flesh, and the spirits of error deceive them in all their doings, And after these things shall the Lord Himself arise to you,7 the Light of righteousness, and healing8 and compassion shall be upon His wings. He shall redeem all captivity of the sons of men from Beliar, and every spirit of error shall be trodden down. And He shall bring back all the nations to zeal for Him, and ye shall see God in the fashion of a man9 whom the Lord shall choose, Jerusalem is His name. And again with the wickedness of your words will ye provoke Him to anger, and ye shall be cast away, even unto the time of consummation.

10. Now, therefore, observe whatsoever I command you, children; for whatsoever things I have heard from my fathers I have made known to you. I am clear from all your ungodliness and transgression which ye will do in the end of the ages against the Saviour of the world, acting ungodly, deceiving Israel, and raising up against it great evils from the Lord.20 And ye will deal lawlessly with Israel, so that Jerusalem shall not endure your wickedness; but the veil of the temple shall be rent, so as not to cover your shame. And ye shall be scattered as captives among the heathen, and shall be for a reproach and for a curse, and for a trampling under foot. For the house which the Lord shall choose shall be called Jerusalem, as is contained in the book of Enoch the righteous.21

15. Therefore the temple which the Lord shall choose shall be desolate in uncleanness, and ye shall be captives throughout all nations, and ye shall be an abomination among them, and ye shall receive reproach and everlasting shame from the righteous judgment of God; and all who see you shall flee from you. And were it not for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob our fathers, not one from my seed should be left upon the earth.


M. de Jonge
"One should be cautious using the labels "Jewish" and "Christian."  If, for instance, the testaments use biographical materials taken from the Old Testament or from Jewish Haggadic tradition, this does not prove that the testaments are Jewish, but only that the author knew the Old Testament and had access to Jewish traditions, either directly or indirectly." (Jewish Eschatology, Early Christian Christology, and the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, pp. 263-64)

At the beginning of the 20th century, R. H. Charles distinguished between a 2d-century B.C. pro-Hasmonean original to which extensive anti-Hasmonean passages (advocating a Messiah from Judah) were added in the 1st century B.C. In 1970 J. Becker assumed a Hellenistic-Jewish "Grundschrift," stemming from Wisdom circles dated around 200-175 B.C. This formed the nucleus of the present writing that took shape in the subsequent centuries by the addition of Hellenistic-Jewish homilies, apocalyptic visions, midrashic expositions, etc. In 1977 A. Hultgard, in an analysis of the apocalyptic passages, found first an anti-Hasmonean stage with the expectation of an ideal Levi and an ideal Judah; later, in the beginning of the 1st century B.C., the emphasis was on intervention by God himself, on the expectation of a Davidic messiah and on the hope of the resurrection and last judgment. In the 1st century A.D. there was a new redaction, introducing a central eschatological figure called the 'priest-savior,' the result of the merger of different traditions." (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 5, p. 183)

"A different approach has also been advocated (de Jonge 1953). There is no doubt that T. 12 P. are Christian in their present form and must have received that form sometime in the second half of the 2d century A.D. One first has to establish the meaning of the present T. 12 P. (allowing, of course, for possible alterations in the period between their origin and the origin of the archetype of our manuscript tradition) for a Christian audience around A.D. 200. Because the Christian passages cannot be removed without damaging the fabric of large sections of the work, we must assume at least a thoroughgoing Christian redaction. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to establish the exact contents of this "original" (pre-Christian) Jewish document, let alone to detect different stages in the redaction of that document. It is, in fact, uncertain whether one should speak of a Christian redaction of an existing Jewish T. 12 P. or of a Christian composition." (op. cit., p. 183)

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