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Reading Revelation: A Thematic Approach [Paperback]

W. Gordon Campbell

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Book Description

Aug. 28 2012
In general, Revelation studies continue to favour going outside or behind the text (in search of its context of origin, via the historical-critical paradigm) or, more recently, in front of the text (to investigate the book's reception history, past and present). To date, relatively little synchronic exegetical work inside the text has been undertaken, with the aim of understanding the text as we have it and on its own terms. To facilitate such work, narrative criticism has supplied some much-needed tools and methods, although these are mainly used to explore the mechanics of how a text 'works' via an examination of its moving parts. Campbell uses this methodology in a way that respects Revelation's narrative verve, adjusting and supplementing it so as to take account of the book's sophisticated thematic content. The result is a coherent and satisfying account of how Revelation's complex parts fit together into a meaningful whole. Throughout, the author is motivated by the conviction that the Church requires a biblical-theological appreciation of Revelation's story, developed from inside the text. This involves relating Revelation adequately to the rest of Christian Scripture - both to the Gospels and Epistles and to the Old Testament, to which it so frequently alludes.

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...[Reading Revelation] provides many fresh insights. What Campbell has offered, is a complete and coherent biblical theology of Revelation, undoubtedly fruitful to use for theological students, teachers and researchers, so that contemporary readers become competent readers... (Rob Van Houwelingen European Journal of Theology 1900-01-00)

‘Gordon Campbell’s impressive study […] is a masterful interpretation, detailed and rigorous […]’ (Ian Boxall The Expository Times 1900-01-00)

Campbell's approach is to seek an understanding of Revelation from within the text itself, rooted as it is in both the Old and New Testament Scriptures. [...] He discerns a number of themes running through Revelation which bind the book into a coherent literary work rather than a collection of disparate elements or detailed prophecy of the future. (David McKay Reformed Theological Journal 2013-01-00)

[Reading Revelation] offers fresh understandings of Revelation. Its copious endnotes, rich bibliography, indexes of Revelation passages, other biblical references, ancient Greco-Roman literature, and themes enable the reader to cross-check the meanings of a specific text or a vision or an event. Readers will find this carefully researched work enlightening and rewarding. (Daniel Jeyaraj, Liverpool Hope University Theological Book Review 1900-01-00)

About the Author

Revd Dr. W. Gordon Campbell is Professor of New Testament Studies (since 2007) in Union Theological College, Belfast, a constituent College of the Institute of Theology in Queen's University, Belfast (QUB). With his family Gordon lived in France for 16 years, where he was involved in parish ministry with the Reformed Church of France and later in teaching New Testament Studies at Faculte Jean Calvin in Aix-en-Provence, where he also served as vice-dean and dean from 1998-2005.

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