The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

The Testament Genre and the Apocalyptic Worldview

The apocalyptic worldview is often described as the worldview which is presented in the texts of the apocalypse genre, and as such a dramatic sense of eschatological expectation is also typically understood as a defining characteristic of the apocalyptic worldview. This paper examines the notion of the apocalyptic worldview in light of the testament genre as an example of early Jewish and Christian literature that does not exhibit any dramatic sense of eschatology, but which may still be understood to present an apocalyptic worldview. Through this examination the paper will discuss the question of whether the apocalyptic worldview is best to be understood as simply the typical early Jewish worldview.