Book Notice: David deSilva, Unholy Allegiances: Heeding Revelation’s Warning

David A. deSilva
Unholy Allegiances: Heeding Revelation’s Warnings
Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2013.
Available at

According to the blurb:

Amid the fervor of popular apocalyptic “end-time” speculation, David deSilva invites readers to encounter Revelation as a word written to seven real congregations living under the shadow of the Roman empire.  He shows how John “lifts the veil” from the public story by which Rome promotes the legitimacy and benefits of its rule, calling his readers to withdraw from participating in the systems that perpetuate exploitation, violent suppression of the truth, and lies about the nature of human empire.  John is seen to invite his seven congregations, and, through them, us, to discover a radical obedience to the One true God and that God’s vision for authentic and life-giving human community.

David deSilva has produced another good book on Revelation (see his earlier work Seeing Things John’s Way and look out for his commentary on Revelation in the Socio-Rhetorical Series). This is a great book written for lay people about what the Book of Revelation is and is not.  Full of pictures, diagrams, and drawings (and no charts about end times!!!).  DeSilva is interested in how John’s message would have been received by early readers and how it can address our own contemporary situation as well.

Here’s the outline:

Chap. 1: Debunking Popular Myths about Revelation

Chap. 2: Divine Emperor, Eternal Rome: The Public Story about Roman Imperialism

Chap 3: The True Center and the Unholy Scam: John’s Biblical Critique of the Public Story

Chap. 4: Looking at the Immediate in Light of the Infinite: The Several Oracles to the Churches of Asia

Chap. 5: John’s Proclamation of the One Who Is, Who was, and Is Coming

I cannot emphasize enough what a cool resource this is to give people in our churches to peer through the mystery and hype of the Apocalypse of John. David deSilva has done a sterling job to make Revelation accessible and relevant to contemporary churches.

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  • Cliff Kvidahl

    Its only downside is the cheesy cover.