Friday, January 16, 2009
Revelation Bonanza - Part 2: Reception History
I have a copy of Judith Kovac and Christopher Rowland's book The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ in the Blackwell Bible Commentaries. It is a commentary on reception-history and it is one of the more interesting things about the Apocalypse that I've read in recent years. What was genuinely new to me was that the first commentary on the Apocalypse by Victorinus of Poetovis (ca. 260 AD) took a chiliastic interpretation (this is in addition to Papias, Justin, Irenaeus, and Tertullian), while the first amillenialist interpretation appears in the fourth century with Tyconius and Augustine (although symbolic interpretations are as early as Origen and Cyprian). I have to recommend this volume as a good read on the Apocalypse. Kovacs/Rowland also cite the admonitory opening words of the Geneva Bible's comments on the Apocalypse: "Read diligently; judge soberly and call earnestly to God for the true understanding hereof" - probably good advice!