Bible Corner

During the last two weeks of the Church’s year, the readings for the week day Masses were taken from the Book of the Apocalypse (or Revelation). The introduction to this book in the New Jerusalem Bible gives an idea of what ‘apocalyptic’ writing is: “the Greek title of this book is literally ‘The Apocalypse of John’ or ‘The Revelation of John’. (The word apocalypse is merely a transliteration into English of the Greek word for Revelation.) the title phrase is shown in Rv 1:1 and 2 to mean ‘The Revelation to John’. Any writing under the title ‘Apocalypse’ claims to include a revelation of hidden things, imparted by God, and particularly a revelation of events hidden in the future. It is not easy to draw an exact dividing line between prophecy and apocalypse, and the writers of apocalyptic are in some ways the successors of the prophets; but we can at least make the distinction that the Old Testament prophets characteristically received the message by ‘hearing the word of God’ and passed it on by word of mouth, whereas the author of a written apocalypse was given his revelation in a vision and passed it on in writing.”