The Apocalypse of John is a work of immense importance and learning. Yet among the major works of early Christianity included in the New Testament it has received relatively little scholarly attention. This work is a significant contribution to remedying this neglect. The author examines the meticulous literary artistry, creative imagination, radical political critique and profound theology of the Apocalypse of John. It is a sustained enterprise to understand both the form and the message of the Apocalypse in its literary and historical contexts. An invaluable and illuminating work for students, scholars and ministers.
“Fourthly, if Revelation’s meaning is intertextual (in relation to the Old Testament) it is also contextual (in relation to its contemporary world).” (Page xii)
“The most significant numbers in Revelation are seven, four, three and twelve (and in some cases, multiples of these)” (Page 30)
“This structure is intimately connected with the meaning his work conveys, but we must expect it to be signalled by linguistic markers. John, it is important to remember, was writing in the first place for hearers (1:3), even though he must also have expected some readers who would study his work at leisure. In a text intended for oral performance6 the structure must be indicated by clear linguistic markers.” (Page 3)
“The whole of the book between prologue and epilogue is recounted as a single visionary experience which took place on Patmos on the Lord’s Day (1:9). The technical phrase ἐγενόμην ἐν πνεύματι (1:10)8 indicates the beginning of this whole visionary experience. The words ἐν πνεύματι recur three times later in the book (4:2; 17:3; 21:10), indicating three major transitions within the whole vision.” (Page 3)
“Thus the formula indicates that it is the same final judgment which is reached in the seventh of each of the three series. With each of the first two sevenths we attain a preliminary glimpse of the final judgment, which the following series then approaches again from closer range, as it were. The expansion of the formula corresponds to the intensification of the judgments in each series.” (Page 8)
I strongly recommend Bauckhams masterful studies on Revelation in its historical context
—Thomas Renna, Utopian Studies
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