The prophet stood in direct relations with his people; his prophecy was first spoken and afterwards written. The apocalyptic writer could obtain no hearing from his contemporaries, who held that, though God spoke in the past, "there was no more any prophet." This pessimism limited and defined the form in which religious enthusiasm should manifest itself, and prescribed as a condition of successful effort the adoption of pseudonymous authorship. The apocalyptic writer, therefore, professedly addressed his book to future generations. Generally directions as to the hiding and sealing of the book were given in the text in order to explain its publication so long after the date of its professed period. There was a sense in which such books were not wholly pseudonymous. Their writers were students of ancient prophecy and apocalyptical tradition, and though they might recast and reinterpret them, they could not regard them as their own inventions.
Conception of history
Apocalyptic writing took a wider view of the world's history than prophecy.