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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Reading Revelation in Context: Johnís Apocalypse and Second Temple Judaism
Blackwell, Ben C., John K. Goodrich and Jason Maston, editors

Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2019 pp. 204. $21.99
Introduction by Loren T. Stuckenbruck

Description: Reading Revelation in Context brings together short, accessible essays that compare and contrast the visions and apocalyptic imagery of the book of Revelation with various texts from Second Temple Jewish literature. Going beyond an introduction that merely surveys historical events and theological themes, Reading Revelation in Context examines individual passages in Second Temple Jewish literature in order to illuminate the context of Revelation's theology and the meaning and potency of John's visions. Following the narrative progression of Revelation, each chapter (1) pairs a major unit of the Apocalypse with one or more sections of a thematically related Jewish text, (2) introduces and explores the historical and theological nuances of the comparator text, and (3) shows how the ideas in the comparator text illuminate those expressed in Revelation. In addition to the focused comparison provided in the essays, the book contains other student-friendly features that will help them engage broader discussions, including an introductory chapter that familiarizes students with the world and texts of Second Temple Judaism, a glossary of important terms, and a brief appendix suggesting what tools students might use to undertake their own comparative studies. At the end of each chapter there a list of other thematically relevant Second Temple Jewish texts recommended for additional study and a focused bibliography pointing students to critical editions and higher-level discussions in scholarly literature. Reading Revelation in Context brings together an international team of over 20 New Testament experts including Garrick V. Allen, Ian Boxall, Jamie Davies, David A. deSilva, Sarah Underwood Dixon, John K. Goodrich, Michael J. Gorman, Dana M. Harris, Ronald Herms, Edith M. Humphrey, Jason Maston, Jonathan A. Moo, Ian Paul, Benjamin E. Reynolds, Elizabeth E. Shively, Cynthia Long Westfall, Benjamin Wold, and Archie T. Wright.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Revelation, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Judaism, Literary Approaches

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Review by Michael Naylor
Published 7/9/2020
Citation: Michael Naylor, review of Ben C. Blackwell, John K. Goodrich, and Jason Maston, eds., Reading Revelation in Context: Johnís Apocalypse and Second Temple Judaism, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).


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