Mazzaferri, F.D.: The Genre of the Book of Revelation from a Source-critical Perspective . Beiheft zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der älteren Kirche, 54. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1989. 486 pp.
This dissertation builds on the research carried out by a number of scholars from the International Colloquium and the SBL Apocalypse Group onwards. In particular, Mazzaferri makes use of the works by David Hellholm.
Mazzaferri investigates the generic problem from three perspectives: form (structure), content and function (purpose) and defines rigorous criteria to establish the boundaries between apocalyptic and prophetic works as well as proximate works.
He concludes that Revelation is “a proximate classical prophecy, and John is not only a prophet, but a neo-classical one” (383). Mazzaferri’s book has some precise and valuable analyses, and it is his merit to focus on the question of function.
Nevertheless, whether his thesis is correct depends on the acceptance of his rigorous methodology which has, in fact, not been accepted by all scholars.
To conclude, Mazzaferri has done very much to further research on this difficult topic and should definitely be consulted. Besides the question of genre, Mazzaferri proposes that the scrolls in Rev 5 and Rev 10 are in fact the same scroll. This is accepted by Bauckham, Climax, but rigthly rejected by Garrow, Revelation (2 Jan 1998).
Notes on topics:
Mazzaferri’s analysis of the outline is very good, although some refinements may be made.