This study investigates the theory that apocalyptic texts originated in, and reflect
the convictions and activities of socially disadvantaged groups on the margins of
society. After a brief introduction to the nature of this understanding of apocalyptic
groups, the article investigates the issue in more depth by analysing an essay on
Revelation written by D.H. Lawrence as concrete example of this theory from a nonscholarly
perspective, followed by various scholarly readings of apocalyptic groups.
In a following section, it analyses various formal, literary, hermeneutical and topical
themes questioning the validity of this approach as well as research insights that
revealed major weaknesses in this understanding. The article then concludes with an
investigation of material that, ironically, indicates that apocalypses generally reflect
a learned hermeneutical movement wishing to discover the ongoing relevance of
sacred traditions in new situations.