The Revelation of John
As the only book of its kind in the New Testament, Revelation can be difficult to understand, and for readers without specialized training, the historical-critical approach used in many commentaries can provide more complication than illumination. Here James Resseguie applies...
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As the only book of its kind in the New Testament, Revelation can be difficult to understand, and for readers without specialized training, the historical-critical approach used in many commentaries can provide more complication than illumination. Here James Resseguie applies the easily understandable tools introduced in his primer on narrative criticism to this challenging book. He shows how Revelation uses such features as rhetoric, setting, character, point of view, plot, symbolism, style, and repertoire to construct its meaning.
This literary approach draws out the theological and homiletical message of the book and highlights its major unifying themes: the need to listen well, an overwhelmingly God-centered perspective, and the exodus to a new promised land. Here is a valuable aid for pastor and serious lay reader alike.
"As its subtitle implies, James Resseguie's 'narrative commentary' on the book of Revelation helps the reader follow in the footsteps of John the narrator. Much like John's 'interpreting angel' within the book's visions, the author allows us to hear what John heard and see what John saw, so that the sights and sounds of the book mutually interpret and enrich one another. In his hands, this last book of the Christian Bible becomes neither a coded account of first-century Roman politics nor a timetable of future events, but a story in its own right, a story of judgment and redemption to be heard afresh in every generation, not least our own. Highly recommended."--J. Ramsey Michaels, professor of religious studies emeritus, Missouri State University"With great skill, Resseguie presents a unified reading of John's Apocalypse as seen through the lens of narrative criticism in the grand tradition of Northrop Frye. The book provides not only careful discussion of major literary concerns but also a close reading of the text from beginning to end, a reading in constant dialogue with a wide range of scholars. This is a welcome addition to the growing body of work analyzing the Apocalypse as a narrative, and whether you find yourself agreeing or disagreeing on specific points, you will find a stimulating and well-argued commentary."--David L. Barr, Wright State University"How does one interpret the book of Revelation? The work is so fantastic, so lively and noisy and colorful, that it needs more than explanation. It needs to be experienced--and James Resseguie's narrative commentary enables us to do exactly that. Resseguie invites us to enter the story world of Revelation and to explore it from within. While remaining fully attentive to historical and linguistic concerns, he also exposes the book's literary features: its rhetoric, plot, point of view, and abundant use of symbolic and stunning imagery. Anyone who wants to understand the book of Revelation will find this book helpful, but be forewarned: you may come to regard 'understanding' as a minimal goal. This is a commentary that moves beyond intellectual understanding to profound appreciation of a classic, literary work of art."--Mark Allan Powell, professor of New Testament, Trinity Lutheran Seminary"Revelation presents its vivid portrayal of God's triumph over evil through a dynamic plot, memorable characters, and images that capture the imagination. James Resseguie's narrative commentary invites contemporary readers to venture into Revelation's literary world and to sense the transformative power of its text. Written in a clear and accessible style, this study helps readers see Revelation as a whole, guiding them through its scenes of cosmic conflict and into the New Jerusalem."--Craig R. Koester, professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary"James Resseguie's narrative commentary on Revelation will be hard to resist even amid the large selection of commentaries now available on this book. In addition to being nicely illustrated and very readable, this book brings the advantage of careful attention to John's story. Where many commentators read the text of Revelation as though they know the story in advance, allowing their knowledge of the historical realities contemporary to the author to control interpretation, Resseguie leaves the author's story in control. A case in point is his interpretation of the mysterious number 666, a fascinating test case for most interpretations. This commentary is a breed apart, and a welcome one at that."--Sigve Tonstad, Loma Linda University
James L. Resseguie (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) is the J. Russell Bucher Professor of New Testament at Winebrenner Theological Seminary. In 1990 he taught literary theory as Fulbright Professor at the University of Iceland. He is the author of several narrative-critical studies, the most recent of which is The Revelation of John, Spiritual Landscape: Images of the Spiritual Life in the Gospel of Luke, ealier volumes include The Strange Gospel: Narrative Design and Point of View in John (Biblical Interpretation Series) and Revelation Unsealed: A Narrative Critical Approach to John's Apocalypse (Biblical Interpretation Series, V. 32).