Joseph Trafton was concerned that much of the popular understanding of Revelation was based on traditions of interpretation and not on the book itself. Having done his masters thesis on Revelation, Trafton came to see how crucial it was to view the book in its historical and conceptual contexts. He reveals the Jewish thought-world that underlies the book and shows how the various sections of the book fit together with one another. His goal in writing the commentary on Revelation is that the book will “make sense” to the reader. He believes many interpreters inundate their explanations with extraneous ideas that actually prevent or get in the way of a clear understanding of the text. Trafton hopes that Reading Revelation will help readers see what is actually there.
Joseph Trafton has produced a clear, understandable, insightful reading of the book of Revelation—not an easy task for a book that has left many readers puzzled and confused. One of the particular strengths of Trafton’s commentary is his close attention to the structure of John’s work and the internal connections between various passages of the book. Readers will also benefit from Trafton’s identification of John’s extensive indebtedness to the Hebrew Bible for much of his imagery and ideas.
—Mitchell G. Reddish, O.L. Walker Professor, Christian Studies; Chair, Department of Religious Studies, Stetson University