The Book of Revelation:

The Book of Revelation: A Biography. Princeton Univ. Oct. 2018. 288p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9780691145839. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780691185088. REL
The subtitle of this new work from Beal (Florence Harkness Professor of Religion, Case Western Reserve Univ.; The Rise and Fall of the Bible) hints at his approach to the very lively Book of Revelation. The author begins with the circumstances of the text's "birth," a collision between Hebrew and pagan imagery combined with an existential dilemma of Judaism and its small sect of Jesus followers against an aggressive empire. As Christianity moves from holding this book at arm's length to a full embrace, it attempts—in vain—to tame it. Partly because of crises that followed the first millennium and also owing to writers such as Hildegard of Bingen who were able to exploit its imagery into illustration, Revelation hits its stride, as seen in the pictorial representations in the first edition of Martin Luther's New Testament.
VERDICT Beal offers a compelling history that might leave readers wondering whether Revelation is an autobiography of our own making.

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