Course Description and Schedule

Instructor: Dr. Andrei Orlov


Phones:  414-288-6802 (office); 414-962-3460 (home)

Office: Coughlin Hall, 209



  • Scripture. Any modern translation of the Bible is acceptable (must include apocrypha). Especially recommended is the New Oxford Annotated edition of the New Revised Standard Version [Bible]

  • J. J. Collins, The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature (2nd edition; Eerdmans, 1998) ISBN 0-8028-4371-9 ($23.36 on [Collins]

  • M.G. Reddish (ed.), Apocalyptic Literature. A Reader (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1990) ISBN 1-56563-210-9 ($22.76 on [Reddish]

  • Electronic Materials [Electronic]




 This course will explore the narrative and social worlds of ancient Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature, from its roots in the Hebrew prophets, to their major expressions in the biblical apocalypses of Daniel and Revelation as well as the lesser known apocalyptic works and traditions found in the Jewish pseudepigrapha and the Dead Sea Scrolls.





  • Class Participation (30% of final grade): You will be assigned a participation grade based on (a) class attendance, (b) class preparation i.e. reading and digesting the assignments, (c) attention and participation during class lectures and discussions. Occasional quizzes will figure in the class participation grade. In order to prepare for the quiz you will need to study the concepts/persons/events discussed at the previous classes. The lowest graded quiz will be dropped at the end of the semester, but there will not be any make up quizzes.

  • Short (15 minutes) presentation on a biblical character in the apocalyptic traditions (10% of final grade).

  • Midterm Exam (30% of final grade).

  • Final Exam (30% of final grade).



  • You will be divided in groups of two or three people.
    I will assign to each group one biblical character from this list: Adam, Eve, Satan, the Watchers, Seth, Enosh, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Melchisedek, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Levi, Moses, Job, Ezekiel, Baruch, Daniel, Ezekiel, Son of Man.
    You will need to gather information about your character from extra-biblical apocalyptic and pseudepigraphical sources and present this information before the class.
    You presentation should be NO MORE than 15 minutes. It should be very dynamic and compact. The class then will have opportunity to ask you some questions.
    I put on reserve in the Raynor library (underground floor) several books from which you can gather initial information for your presentation. These books are:

    D. Russell, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: Patriarchs and Prophets in Early Judaism.
    M. Stone and T. Bergren (eds.), Biblical Figures outside the Bible.
    R. Graves and R. Patai, Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis.
    J. Kugel, The Bible As It Was.

    These books should be the starting point of your research project. Then you should go and find other scholarly resources (books, articles) as well as visual images for your presentation.
    In order to prepare a good presentation you need first carefully read the biblical story of your character trying to notice all important details of his biography. Then after that you can proceed to non-biblical apocalyptic sources and see how these later texts expand and change the original story. In your presentation you should describe major apocalyptic sources that deal with the story of your character and demonstrate textual excerpts from these texts which pertain to the story.

    Other helpful materials and the collections of the original texts include:

    L. Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews (7 vols; Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1998). Thematic index is in volume 7.

    J. H. Charlesworth, (ed.). The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 vols; Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1983-1985). Thematic index is in the volume 2.

    H. Sparks, The Apocryphal Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon, 1984).

    G. Anderson and M. Stone, A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve. Second Revised Edition (SBLEJL, 17; Atlanta: Scholars, 1999).

    F. L. Horton, Jr., The Melchizedek Tradition: A Critical Examination of the Sources to the Fifth Century A.D. and in the Epistle to the Hebrews (SNTSMS 30; Cambridge, England: 1976).

    A. Klijn, Seth in Jewish, Christian and Gnostic Literature (Leiden: Brill, 1977).

    W. Meeks, The Prophet-King: Moses Traditions and the Johannine Christology (SNT, 14; Leiden: Brill, 1967).

    M. Barker, The Lost Prophet: The Book of Enoch and its Influence on Christianity (London: SPCK, 1988).

    M. Hooker, The Son of Man in Mark (London: SPCK, 1967).





  • In accordance with the policy of the College of Arts and Sciences, “attendance is mandatory for every exercise of a course in which a student is enrolled.” More than four absences will result in a reduction of your grade. As per university guidelines, more that six absences may result in your withdrawal from the course. The College of Arts and Sciences defines “unavoidable absences as those due to debilitating illness, personal emergency, and, with prior approval, participation in university-sanctioned athletic competitions. Students must inform their instructors and the Arts and Sciences office, in a timely fashion and with supporting evidence, of the reasons for their unavoidable absence.” If you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to get any notes, materials, or notices from other students.


  • At the beginning of the semester you will be asked to choose where you wish to sit. After this you will be marked as absent if not occupying the seat you chose. This will obviate the need for a daily roll call.




All material submitted for this class should be the work of the student whose name appears on the material. The policies outlined in Marquette’s Undergraduate Bulletin on academic honesty will be followed.




A - 100-92%

AB -91-87%

B -86-80%

BC - 79-75%

C - 74-68%

CD - 67-63%

D - 62-56%

F - Below 56






  • January 14: Introduction of the instructor and the syllabus

    January 16 and 23: Biblical Background of Apocalyptic Literature: Account of Creation

    Bible: Genesis 1-3
    Electronic: The Life of Adam and Eve (pdf)
    All versions of the Life of Adam and Eve
    (January 21: Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday – No class)

    January 28 and 30: Biblical Background of Apocalyptic Literature: Account of the Temple

    Bible: Exodus 25-40, Book of Ezekiel 40-48

    February 4 and 6: Biblical Background of Apocalyptic Literature: Account of the Chariot
    QUIZ 1 (Feb. 4)

    Bible: Book of Ezekiel 1 and 10

    February 11: Apocalyptic Literature: Definitions and Features

    Collins: pp. 1-42

    February 13 and 18: The Enochic Literature: The Book of the Watchers

    Collins: pp. 43-59
    Reddish: pp. 143-162

    February 20: The Enochic Literature: The Animal Apocalypse
    QUIZ 2

    Collins: pp. 60-84
    Reddish: pp. 41-53

    February 25 and 27: The Book of Daniel

    Collins: pp. 85-115
    Bible: The Book of Daniel

    March 3: The Testament of Moses

    Collins: pp. 116-133
    Reddish: pp. 214-223
    Electronic: Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian (pdf)

    March 5: The Testament of Levi
    QUIZ 3

    Collins: pp. 134-144
    Reddish: pp. 188-192
    Electronic: Testament of Levi, chapter 8 (pdf)

    March 10: MIDTERM EXAM

    March 12 and 26: The Qumran Literature: (1QS; 1QM; 11QMelchisedek)

    Collins: pp. 145-176
    Reddish: pp. 224-236
    Electronic: 11QMelchisedek (pdf)

    (March 17, 19, and 24 – No Classes – Spring Break and Easter Break)

    March 31: Enochic Literature: The Similitudes of Enoch

    Collins: pp. 177-193
    Reddish: pp. 163-187

    April 2: 4 Ezra

    Collins: pp. 194-224
    Reddish: pp. 58-96

    April 7: Apocalypse of Abraham
    QUIZ 4

    Collins: pp. 225-232
    Electronic: Apocalypse of Abraham (pdf)

    April 9: 2 Enoch

    Collins: pp. 233-255
    Electronic: 2 Enoch (pdf)

    April 14 and 16: The Book of Revelation

    Collins: pp. 256-279
    Bible: The Book of Revelation

    April 21 and 23: Apocalyptic Motif in the Gospels/Acts
    QUIZ 5 (April 21)

    Bible: Gospel of Mark 2:1-12 (Jesus as the Son of Man); Gospel of Matthew 4:1-11 (Temptation of Jesus); Gospel of Matthew 17:1-13 (Transfiguration of Christ); Acts of the Apostles 6:8-7:60 (Martyrdom of Stephen); Acts of the Apostles 9:1-31 (Vision of Paul); Acts of the Apostles 10:9-20 (Vision of Peter).

    April 28 and 30: Gnosticism: The Hymn of the Perl and the Gospel of Thomas

    Electronic: The Hymn of the Perl (pdf), Gospel of Thomas (pdf)

    May 5-9: FINAL EXAM WEEK


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© 2008 Andrei Orlov