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Seven Congregations in a Roman Crucible: A Commentary on Revelation 1-3

March 25, 2013 | Written by Matt Carter

Dr. Richard Oster‘s long-awaited commentary on Revelation 1-3 is now available for order. You may order the commentary from his blog, 7 Subversive Letters. From Oster’s comments on the writing process:

oster-commentaryThe decision I made a few years ago to do a more thorough job of integrating the text of Revelation with theological trajectories from the Hebrew Scriptures and Intertestamental Judaism meant I had to slow down and incorporate and quote not only more Jewish texts, but also a small fraction of secondary literature.

Those who know my other publications are aware that I do not believe that the early church existed within a historical vacuum, devoid of significant interaction with its pagan environment. This belief requires the incorporation of primary sources, e.g., Graeco-Roman literature, inscriptions, coins, papyri, and architecture. Even if readers of this commentary feel comfortable with the settings and theological perspectives of sacred writers such as Jeremiah or Zechariah, they might not be as comfortable with and knowledgeable of Greek and Latin authors such as Aelius Aristides and Apuleius or, to move beyond the literary elite, Anatolian inscriptions or Roman numismatics. My decision to not only reference Graeco-Roman sources but to also quote them at times and to supply some secondary literature certainly required a significant increase of time, energy, and pages.

In addition to the expansion into Jewish materials, both canonical and non-canonical, and into Graeco-Roman sources, a third area also retarded earlier goals for completion. So many impediments stand in the way of our hearing John as he intended to be heard that the task is always extensive and labyrinthine. Some assistance can be provided by visual materials that literally bring the ancient world to light. So, I have attempted to use some images in the book to enhance the reader’s appreciation for the world of John and his first readers, an effort with a steep learning curve both for me and the publisher.

Congratulations, Dr. Oster!
To order, click here and click on the book cover in the right sidebar.

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