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Apocalypse of Sedrach

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Title: Apocalypse of Sedrach  
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Subject: Old Testament Apocrypha, List of Old Testament pseudepigrapha, Apocalyptic literature
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Apocalypse of Sedrach

The Apocalypse of Sedrach, also known as the Word of Sedrach, is an ancient apocryphal text. The name of the titular figure, Sedrach may simply be the Greek form of Shadrach, the name of one of the three individuals put into the fiery furnace in the Book of Daniel. It may however simply be a corruption of Esdras, the Greek form of Ezra, particularly since the text has much similarity with other apocryphal texts attributed to Ezra, such as the Apocalypse of Ezra.

Like much other apocalyptic literature, the text narrates how Sedrach was given a vision of heaven, first describing someone being sent by God take him there. In the Apocalypse of Sedrach, it is Jesus himself who comes to take Sedrach, but while the text seems superficially Christian, it appears to be a corruption of an earlier Jewish text, with Jesus simply having been substituted in place of the name of an archangel.

Unlike other apocalyptic texts, however, the Apocalypse of Sedrach heavily discusses ethical issues, particularly repentance, and God being merciful. In a marked contrast to the bitter attitude often expressed in the genre, God is depicted as patient, keen to help people make the right choices, and keen to allow them repentance at every opportunity, and free will is seen as something kindly given, not a vicious trick.

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