Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
The Theology of the Book of Revelation / Edition 1

The Theology of the Book of Revelation / Edition 1

by Richard Bauckham
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The Theology of the Book of Revelation 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bauckham writes concisely and thoughtfully. He brings intellectual integrity to the most misunderstood, yet most practical New Testament book. After dozens of commentaries and end-time theologies, finally one may enjoy a writer and scholar who makes sense of it all! He fully understands the continuum of Old Testament-New Testament theology and prophecy. Yet, he makes it clear that The Revelation is an instructive epistle, originally for the recipients under persecution and presently to the Church universal. Enough of the divisive this book and enjoy! It will bless your heart today.
zappa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A key misconception needs to be put aside before a reader can maximise benefit from an encounter with Bauckham's theological journey through the Book of Revelation. That is that there is going to be some sort of superficial and sensational exposé of the chronology of end-times: a person knowing Bauckham's writings or indeed the editorial prudence of James D.G. Dunn (series editor) would know this is not Hal Lindsey (who, like the clichéd elephant, is finally removed from the room, along with Rudolf Bultmann, in the closing pages). Nevertheless, apocalyptic in general and Revelation in particular seems to manage to manouvre many otherwise quite functional brains into stultified neutral: a mistake not to be made when engaging with Bauckham. Bauckham, in my experience, is never a light read. It is no coincidence that he wrote a fine but absolutely saturant (to coin, perhaps, a word) analysis of Moltmann. He shares Moltmann's density of sentence structure (insofar as one can tell reading Moltmann's main works in translation), and shares too Moltmann's deeply profound prioritising of eschatology. In 164 complex pages Bauckham takes us deeply into the literary and theological brilliance of John of Patmos. To do that in the twentieth century (for this was published in 1993) is to engage with huge questions of divine purpose, of holiness and justice and eschatological hope, of incarnational theology and soteriology, of sin and redemption: this was never going to be a light read.Bauckham holds these demands together magnificently. He begins, wisely, with the reminder from John's opening sentences, that Revelation is a) revelation/apocalypse, b) prophesy, and c) a (circular) letter. These factors define any attempt to understand the vision of the book. Beyond this it is also important to understand John's integrity as a literary and theological craftsman: 'We should certainly not doubt that John had remarkable visionary experiences, but he has transmuted them through what must have been a lengthy process of reflection and writing into a thoroughly literary creation which is designed not to reproduce the experience so much as to communicate the meaning of the revelation that had been given to him' (3-4). John was not Nostradamus (and well we might thank God for that!).John creates a narrative reality utterly alternative to that being experienced by his suffering audiences (in a recent sermon I drew parallels between apocalyptic methodology and Roberto Benigni's 1997 film Life is Beautiful : go figure!). He draws on the deep pools of apocalyptic symbolism available to him and to his readers (listeners) to inspire them to hope in the face of tumultuous darkness and suffering. Bauckham's brilliance is in demonstrating the manner in which John weaves together ancient narrative symbols and events and experiences contemporary to his writing - weaves them together so well that they have continued to speak to readers of his work for two millennia: John's images 'cannot be read either as literal descriptions or as encoded literal descriptions, but must be read for their theological meaning and their power to evoke response' (20). The visionary's prophesy is timeless because it is Biblical prophesy which 'always both addressed the prophet¿s contemporaries about their own present and the future immediately impending for them and raised hopes which proved able to transcend their immediate relevance to the prophet¿s contemporaries and to continue to direct later readers to God¿s purpose for their future' (152). Bauckham emphasizes that John's apocalyptic vision is always deeply grounded in the resurrection of Christ: 'All that is opposed to God¿s rule, we are to understand, has been defeated by the Lamb' (74). Fundamental to Revelation¿s whole understanding of the way in which Christ establishes God¿s kingdom on earth is the conviction that in his death and resurrection Christ has already won his decisive victory over evil' (73). Revelation's
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book as one of several required in a seminary class I audited on Revelation. As a lay minister, I found the book to be accessible. It was not too ladden with language not readily known by students like me nor did it require extensive, previous background to understand. Yet I felt it covered a depth of learning that would be welcome reading by a biblical scholar. It provides excellent analysis of the book of Revelation in relation to its theology.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have used professor's Bauckam's book as a resource for a 6 month study of the Book of Revelation and found it an excellent resource for teaching adult laity. It facilitates a dept in adult teaching that laity find both challenging and exciting.