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Discovering Revelation
Content, Interpretation, Reception
PAPERBACK; Published: 4/29/2021
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7242-5
Price: $ 23.99
240 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Series: Discovering Biblical Texts

The book of Revelation has been received over the past several centuries with both fascination and aversion, but one thing is certain: it has profoundly shaped Christian history and culture. And the way it has shaped history and culture has been determined, in large part, by how the book has been variously—and sometimes irresponsibly—interpreted. 

David A. deSilva addresses the interpretation and reception-history of Revelation in this compact, up-to-date, and student-friendly introduction to the book of Revelation, focusing on its structure, content, theological concerns, key interpretive debates, and historical reception. Discovering Revelation draws on a range of methodological approaches (author-, text-, and reader-centered) as complementary rather than mutually exclusive ways of interpreting the text. DeSilva pays special attention to defining features of Revelation, such as its use of sequences of seven as a major structuring device, its nonlinear plotline, and its deployment of contrast and parody. As deSilva writes, “A text as rich and multidimensional as Revelation calls for its readers to adopt a rich and multidimensional approach that draws upon a variety of interpretative angles and skills.”.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Interpreting Revelation: Strategies for Reading
3. The Text of Revelation: Origins and Transmission
4. The World of John the Seer: Locating the Text Historically and Socially
5. A Revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1)
6. Oracles from the Glorified Christ (Revelation 2–3)
7. Visions of the Throne of God (Revelation 4–5)
8. Seals, Trumpets, and Plagues: Revelation as Cosmic Exodus (Revelation 6–9, 10–11, 15–16)
9. Roman Power and Propaganda in Perspective (Revelation 12–14)
10. The Goddess Exposed: Revelation 17:1–19:10
11. Making All Things New (Revelation 19:11–22:5)
12. Conclusions: Interpreting Revelation Today

Review of Biblical Literature
“David deSilva’s Discovering Revelation is a thorough and careful examination of John’s Apocalypse that firmly situates readers in the historical context of the assemblies of Asia Minor. It orients students toward an academic perspective while still connecting John’s message to their present situations. A sensitivity to the nebulous character of Revelation as simultaneously prophecy, letter, and apocalypse draws the reader into an appreciation for its complexity while challenging popular interpretations that diminish John’s imagery as simply ciphers to be decoded.”
“[T]his is an excellent work and should be read by anyone who wants a solid introduction to Revelation.”
Review of Biblical Literature
“This book represents a brilliant introduction to Revelation by a senior scholar in the field.”