SPIRITUALITY & RELIGION

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
COPY ISBN
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.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month