Kovacs and Rowland, Revelation

Kovacs, Judith L., and Christopher Rowland. Revelation: The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ. Blackwell Bible commentaries. Malden, Maryland: Blackwell Publishers, 2004. xviii + 315 pp.

This volume is recommended!

The concept of this commentary recommends itself. Amazon lets you take a look at some pages, including the indices, which reveal the coverage of this volume.

The main part is The Reception of the Apocalypse: Survey of Important Interpretations and of Artistic Representations (pp. 14-246). It also includes a 21 page bibliography and the NA26-list of OT allusions (pp. 263-283; pp. 284-295) as well as an index of Biblical References and a General Index (pp. 296ff; pp. 303ff).

“This ground-breaking commentary reveals the far-reaching influence of the Apocalypse on society and culture, and the impact it has had on the Christian Church through the ages. Approaching the Apocalypse chapter by chapter, the authors consider its effects, not only on theologians from Origen and Augustine to late twentieth-century theologians of liberation, but also on writers, artists, musicians, political figures, visionaries and others, including Dante, Hildegard of Bingen, Milton, Newton, the English Civil War radicals, Dürer, Turner, Blake, Handel and Franz Schmidt” (quoted from the catalogue of Aarhus University Library). More at the publisher’s site.

The history of interpretation of Revelation is probably more diverse and strange than any other book. This is one of the reasons that one should read this volume!

However, you should not heed the advise of Bernhard Lang who in a short review writes as follows: “If you have little space on your shelves for biblical commentaries, I would advise you to throw the other commentaries out and keep this one” (#1244, International Review of Biblical Studies 50 [2003-2004]: 287).

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