I’ve heard many argue that the events in the Book of Danielle and some of Isaiah have yet to come to pass, however, it is my understanding that The Church teaches that all of the prophecies in the OT were fulfilled with/before the coming of Christ.
I find this hard to swallow because there are some examples within Danielle and Isaiah which seemingly never occured and are in reference to the end of all time.
The Church claims that Jesus fulfilled and completed the Old Covenant and inaugurated the New. She would say also that the writings of the Old Testament point forward to Jesus. That is not the same thing as saying that every vision of future events recorded in the OT has ya lready come to pass, and I do not believe the Church makes that last claim. There are Old Testament prophecies (such as in the books you cite) that point to the Second Coming and the Last Judgment, which obviously haven’t happened yet. The OT may point forward to Christ, but there are a few things on His schedule yet.
Just as a point of information, the fellow’s name is generally spelled “Daniel” in English. “Danielle” would be the female equivalent.
Some of Daniel is, most of it is historical prophecy. Same thing for Ezekiel, although Ezekiel has a lot more future stuff. Same thing for Isaiah.
If you want to understand Messianic prophecy and apocalyptic prophecy in the New Testament, you really ought to make sure you read Daniel and Ezekiel and Isaiah. Especially if you want to read Revelation, because Revelation is tied very closely to Daniel and Ezekiel, both in imagery and structure.
Of course, you’re going to have to read most of the prophets, too, particularly Zechariah and Zephaniah, as they also get a fair amount of play in Revelation. Reading Revelation is like playing “Tiptoe through the Prophets,” and you’ll know 'em all before you’re done.
If you want to learn more about particular prophets’ books or about all the prophets, I recommend that you head over to EWTN’s media library’s audio section. Fr. Mitch Pacwa did an EWTN version of his college lecture course about the prophets, and it is chock full of information.
‘Apocalyptic’ is a type of literary genre. The Greek word apokalypsis means an ‘unveiling’, an ‘uncovering’ or a ‘revelation’, and this is exactly what you see in apocalyptic works: the human seer has symbolic or allegorical visions ‘unveiled’ to him by an angel or other heavenly messenger, who usually also explains what these visions mean.
It’s true that ‘apocalyptic’ and ‘apocalypse’ are now often associated with the end of the world (the eschaton, to use another Greek word), but when we speak of ‘apocalyptic’ in this context, it does not necessarily have that connotation. Simply speaking, some apocalypses do focus on the end of this world, but in others it really plays a smaller role. (Some literature classified as ‘apocalyptic’ actually communicate a body of knowledge that had nothing to do with end time concerns: say, proper living.) Apokalypsis refers to the ‘revelation’ proper, without regard to the content of the revelation. Really, other than the end of the world, the ‘revelations’ in a given apocalyptic work can be things such as a tour of Heaven and/or Hell (basically, places human beings cannot normally reach), the fate of souls after death, or the secrets of nature (for example, how the sun or the moon or the stars or weather patterns work).
Apocalyptic literature is often contrasted with prophetic literature. The differences between the two genres are:
Prophetic literature consists primarily of words the prophets hear God speak (“the oracle of the LORD”). Apocalyptic literature, by contrast, consists primarily of visions or dreams or a heavenly journey by the seer.
Prophetic literature is conditional: the outcome depends upon the actions of the people. So if, say, a disaster is about to strike Israel because of its sins, the prophet would say that if Israel repents, God will withhold His punishment, but if it continues in its evil ways, the disaster would hit Israel hard. That’s why the prophets often try to incite the people to repent. Apocalyptic literature, on the other hand, is deterministic: history is viewed as moving forward according to a predetermined, definite schedule and toward a predetermined end, like a scripted play: everything that is said to happen will happen because that is how God scripted it and because He allows them to happen. That’s why the seer could receive a ‘revelation’; the conceit is, God had chosen to give spoilers to the seer.
Another difference between the two genres is how they view the future. The prophetic future is a continuation of the present and is itself part of the course of history, but the apocalyptic future is a decisive break with the present age brought about by the direct intervention of God, so cataclysmic that history itself will end and the present order will collapse as a result.
Apocalyptic literature generally originates in periods of oppression or persecution, usually as a means to cope with these crises. Apocalypses divert the reader’s attention away from the problems of the present to the heavenly world and the eschatological future, thereby offering a means to cope with and to make meaningful present existence. (“As you can see, better days will come, so hold on tight.”) One of the aims of the genre as a whole is to address the seeming disparity between the idea of reward for righteousness and the fact that many righteous people in the world seem to suffer while the bad seem to prosper; in other words, the old theodicy question. (An issue with close relevance for Jews of the period: why did and do they suffer repeated trials and tribulations if they were indeed God’s own chosen nation?)
In other words, apocalyptic works express dissatisfaction with the status quo and try to convince their readers that suffering is not what God has in store for them. Basically what they try to show is that God is sovereign.
You’ve brought up a very good point. ‘Apocalyptic’ literature were given that title by 19th century scholars because they noticed that these works shared some similarities with John’s Apocalypse (bizarre symbolic/allegorical visions relayed by a heavenly messenger, for one). But it took a long time for scholars to define exactly what ‘apocalyptic literature’ means, because they noticed that while there are some similarities, there are also differences which made it difficult to pigeonhole them neatly. Even today the issue is not really settled.
Here are some of the works usually classified as ‘apocalyptic’. I encourage folks to check them.