I have been discussing the book of Amos, possibly the oldest of the “classical” prophets of the Hebrew Bible, parts of which were probably written in the 8th century, making it, arguably, the oldest book of the Bible.   I have wanted to discuss Amos a bit because his views became the more or less standard perspective of the prophets, and many centuries later it was out of such views that Jewish apocalypticism emerged, the view held by many Jews in the days of Jesus, including, I have argued, Jesus himself.  And so, in one sense, to understand apocalypticism, you have to know where it came from.

Here is the final section on Amos in my textbook The Bible:  A Historical and Literary Introduction.   Especially important for what I want to say about apocalypticism is the overview I provide at the end.


The Judean Redaction of Amos

It is impossible, at the end of the day, to know whether Amos himself wrote down these prophecies that bear his name, or if they were penned by someone else in his name.  What is clear is that he not only made these proclamations orally, probably over the period of a number of years, but that someone – either himself or another scribe – wrote them down and put them in circulation as a written text.   Obviously the predictions are dire, and they do not make for cheerful reading.

But after they had been in circulation for a long while, a

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