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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

An Apocalypse for the Church and for the World: The Narrative Function of Universal Language in the Book of Revelation
Herms, Ronald

Berlin: de Gruyter, 2006 pp. xv + 299. $118.80

Series Information
Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der älteren Kirche, 143


Description: This monograph examines the problem of universally inclusive language in the book of Revelation and the resulting narrative tension created by narrowly exclusive language. Analysis is conducted by placing relevant texts within their literary-narrative context and through consideration of how the author understood and appropriated biblical traditions. A key feature of this study is its examination of four early Jewish documents with significant similarities to the problem being examined in Revelation. From these documents (Tobit; Similitudes of Enoch [1 Enoch 37-71]; 4 Ezra; and, Animal Apocalypse [1 Enoch 85-90]) a contextual picture emerges which allows a fuller understanding of Revelation’s distinctive approach toward the problem of the fate of the nations. This study contends that the interpretive strategies applied to biblical traditions in Revelation have their roots in the wider early Jewish milieu. From this comparative analysis, identifiable patterns with regard to the role of ‘universal terminology’ in the communicative strategy of John’s Apocalypse emerge.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Revelation, Literature

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Review by David L. Barr
Published 4/5/2008
Citation: David L. Barr, review of Ronald Herms, An Apocalypse for the Church and for the World: The Narrative Function of Universal Language in the Book of Revelation, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2008).


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