Many scholars have often considered the concept of ascent in the New Testament to be closely related to and drawn from the models available in the Hellenistic world. This article argues for fundamental morphological differences between the concept of ascent in the New Testament and the pervasive and popular motif of ascent in the Graeco-‐‑Roman world. At the core of the differences lies a completely different anthropological understanding. Sources and influences other than the contemporary models must therefore be found. The article concludes by suggesting that the most appropriate antecedents of ascent in the New Testament should be sought in the Old Testament itself and mediated by Second Temple apocalyptic thought.