Revelation is perhaps the most misunderstood book of the New Testament. The challenge of reading Revelation well lies largely in appreciating its literary form as an ‘apocalypse,’ a genre of writing full of bewildering imagery and complex structural features. The book’s visions and images are not a code to be deciphered but a means of transforming the Christian theological imagination, disclosing in many-layered ways the nature of the powers of evil in the world, God’s victory over them, and the church’s call to faithful witness in the present time. At the theological heart of the book, however, is God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ. Since Revelation’s literary form and its theological meaning are inseparable, this commentary approaches the challenge of interpretation by integrating these two horizons, reading Revelation both as a work of literature and a work of theology.
Combining motifs that are familiar with those that are utterly bizarre, the Apocalypse of John challenges even the most ardent reader. In this inviting commentary, Jamie Davies attends to the bewildering landscape of Revelation while never losing sight of the book’s opening claim to convey a revelation from and about Jesus Christ. Highly recommended for students at all levels.
—Beverly Roberts Gaventa
Helen H.P. Manson Professor Emerita of
New Testament Literature and Exegesis
Princeton Theological Seminary
Jamie Davies’s commentary on Revelation is eloquent as a literary work and wonderfully perceptive as a piece of theological writing. His delight in the multivalent, intertextual images of the canon’s conclusion comes through on every page. The result is a significant contribution to the interpretation of the Apocalypse as a provocative, imagination-bending instrument of God’s self-revelation and a call to faithful Christian witness.
—Michael J. Gorman
Raymond E. Brown Chair in Biblical and Theological Studies
St. Mary’s Seminary & University
Baltimore, Maryland, USA