The Branch Davidians of Waco: The History and Beliefs of an Apocalyptic Sect

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What were the beliefs of the Branch Davidians? This is the first full scholarly account of their history. Kenneth G. C. Newport argues that, far from being an act of unfathomable religious insanity, the calamitous fire at Waco in 1993 was the culmination of a long theological and historical tradition that goes back many decades. The Branch Davidians under David Koresh were an eschatologically confident community that had long expected that the American government, whom they identified as the Lamb-like Beast of the book of Revelation, would one day arrive to seek to destroy God's remnant people. The end result, the fire, must be seen in this context.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An extended, well-documented, analytical treatment." —Nova Religio

"Acknowledging the passionate engagement with theological ideas that always characterized the small but intense membership of teh various splinter groups of the Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) church that made up the Davidian and Branch Davidian traditions, Newport's history patiently disentangles and lays out for examination their complex understandings of the Bible." —Journal of the American Academy of Religion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199245741
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/22/2006
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth G. C. Newport is Professor of Christian Thought, Liverpool Hope University College.

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Table of Contents

1. 'A mad man in Waco': David Koresh in Popular Perspective
2. 'A sure word of prophecy': The Bible, Prophecy Belief and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church
3. 'Hear ye the Rod': Victor T. Houteff, the Shepherd's Rod and the Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists
4. 'The kingdom come': The Theology of Victor Houteff and the Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists
5. 'But the end is not yet': Florence Houteff and the End of the World
6. 'Behold the man whose name is The Branch': Ben Roden and the Emergence of Branch Davidianism
7. 'The Branch he': Ben Roden and the Theology of Branch Davidianism
8. 'The Branch she': Lois Roden, Shekinah and the struggle for leadership
9. 'A pale rider': Vernon Howell and the Branch Davidians 1959-1985
10. 'And death shall follow in his wake': Vernon Howell, David Koresh, and the Branch Davidians 1986-1993
11. 'The seventh angel': David Koresh and the Mystery of God
12. 'A lamb-like beast': The Branch Davidians and the ATF
13. 'A call for the endurance of the saints': Mt. Carmel 28 February-19 April 1993
14. 'An ultimate act of faith'? The Cause of the Waco Fire
15. 'For behold the Lord will come with fire': Theology and the Waco Inferno
16. 'Prophecies shall fail': Post-1993 Branch Davidianism
Concluding Observations

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