Bredin: Jesus, Revolutionary of Peace

Bredin, Mark. Jesus, Revolutionary of Peace: A Nonviolent Christology in the Book of Revelation. Paternoster biblical and theological monographs. Carlisle [England]: Paternoster Press, 2003. xii + 262 pp.

According to Ted Grimsrud, “Bredin joins in a tradition of reading Revelation as peace literature, going back to G. B. Caird in the 1960s and including such later writers as Jacques Ellul, Eugene Boring, Wilfred Harrington, Richard Bauckham (Bredin’s Ph.D. adviser), Loren Johns, Barbara Rossing, and Harry Maier.” (review in Biblical Theology Bulletin, Winter [2007])

“John has woven this [Lamb] imagery into holy warfare imagery resulting in a text that utilizes the holy war tradition that seeks justice in such a way that the idea of advocating hatred was transformed into the hope of the transformation of the sinner” (Bredin, p. 199; quoted in Grimsrud’s review).

Grimsrud adds some concerns. “A few concerns must be mentioned, however. Although Bredin’s writing is clear and accessible throughout, at times he presents ideas and summarizes others’ ideas in overly brief, even cryptic fashion. An unsympathetic reader, or one unfamiliar with the literature of non-violence action, might not find Bredin’s arguments particularly persuasive.”

And: Bredin “gives short shrift to Revelation’s focus on the internal life of the churches to whom John writes.” Nevertheless, Grimsrud asserts, “Bredin has provided a significant interpretation of Revelation that turns the traditional view of Revelation as escapist literature on its head.”

This volume is reviewed by Ted Grimsrud (see above) and, quite critically, by Tobias Nicklas in: Review of Biblical Literature (2005).

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