Commentaries on Steroids

Biblical scholarship has exploded when it comes to commentaries. When I was a seminary student in the late 70s finding the top commentaries on NT books was a challenge because many were out of print — e.g., A.H. McNeile on Matthew or J.A.T. Robinson on Ephesians. Then came the avalanche of one series after another [Read More…]

The Renewal of All Things (RJS)

The book of Revelation also known as the Apocalypse of John can be rather hard to understand. It is, after all, apocalyptic literature – a form a bit ‘interesting’ in the Old Testament prophets and every bit as ‘interesting’ here.  I don’t usually worry too much about the book, or try too hard to make [Read More…]

The Relevance of the Book of Revelation

Revelation is best used when one is doing analysis of culture and society and is best put down when one wants to know what will happen in the future. In other words, Revelation is potent political theology and not speculative eschatology. There are a number of really good, new, readable, brief books about Revelation (check [Read More…]

On Reading Revelation (Intelligently)

The Book of Revelation (or, The Apocalypse) cannot be brought up as a subject without my returning to the fervor of its interpreters in the world of my young adulthood, and that means — not to put too fine of a point on it — Hal Lindsey or Salem Kirban, both of whom wrote (and [Read More…]

Revelation Teaches Us How to Read the World

The last book in the New Testament, the Book of Revelation, is not so much a text full of codes that need to be interpreted in order to dig out the secrets but, as David DeSilva puts it, “a text that imposed a Christ-centered interpretation upon the everyday activities, landscapes, and stories encountered by the [Read More…]

Where John’s Story Begins

The Book of Revelation has perhaps the most radical vision of the Story of God in the whole Bible. But that Story counters the story told by Rome, which, as I wrote in our last post, The fundamental idea then is that the gods gave the world Rome; they gave the world Rome as a [Read More…]

The “Official” and “Public” Story

The one who controls the story controls the glory. Take for instance the “story” that America’s national game, baseball, has a “world” series though it is only a game between the two leagues in America and it’s a good thing we don’t let the Cubans play. But that little word “world” tells a story, the [Read More…]

Three Myths about the Book of Revelation

David DeSilva, in a classy little book on the Book of Revelation (Unholy Allegiances: Heeding Revelation’s Warning), explores the major themes at work in this book, themes almost always ignored by the most popular literature about Revelation. DeSilva explores Roman imperialism, John’s powerful critique of the public story, the seven oracles to the seven churches [Read More…]

Anointed? … Evangelicals and Authority 4 (RJS)

I recently received, courtesy of the publisher, a copy of the new book The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age by Randall Stephens, an associate professor of history at Eastern Nazarene College and Karl Giberson, formerly a professor of Physics at Eastern Nazarene. Giberson has now moved on to concentrate on a number of [Read More…]

Converting our Imagination 8

How then do we read the Book of Revelation responsibly? This is the concern of this series and Michael Gorman, as a teacher, knows the best way to teach this sort of reading is to give the big picture first. His seven themes (below) are a deconstructive and constructive approach: it deconstructs some popular approaches [Read More…]