While I was retailing the SBL Apocalypse Group definition from 1979, I couldn't help finding myself amused by an element in it. Take a look:
"Apocalypse" is a genre of revelatory literature with a narrative framework, in which a revelation is mediated by an otherworldly being to a human recipient, disclosing a transcendent reality which is both temporal, insofar as it envisages eschatological salvation, and spatial insofar as it involves another, supernatural world."I've seen this and thought about this many times over the last twenty years or so, but what struck me on this occasion is that it contains the word being defined within the definition! Since "revelation" is another way of saying "apocalypse", I can't help thinking that this is a bit like one of the recipes in a book I used to use as a student, The Gourmet Vegan by Heather Lamont. In a section headed "Eating to Survive", the book helpfully explains how to make "toast" lest anyone is unfamiliar with the concept:
ToastThis used to strike me as hilarious. The implied reader is a hypothetical (one might say non-existent) person who does does not know what "toast" is. Should there be such an unlikely person who has purchased The Gourmet Vegan, they would hardly be helped in their ignorance of what "toast" is by invoking the verb "to toast".
Used sliced wholemeal bread or bread buns, halved. Toast until golden. Spread with vegan margarine, and any vegan jams, preserves, marmalades or Marmite . . ."
It's worrying the kind of links that your mind makes when you are in the middle of teaching. Perhaps it's just me.