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Visions of the Apocalypse
Receptions of John's Revelation in Western Imagination

By Bruce Chilton

Visions of the Apocalypse
Paperback, 175 pages $29.95
Published: 1st November 2013
ISBN: 9781602589827
Format: 8.5in x 5.5in

Subjects: All Biblical Studies, All Religious Studies, New Testament

John’s Revelation has led to countless diverse and divergent interpretations. Readers’ cryptic notions of violent end-time scenarios, strict prophetic truths, and encouragement for the faithful have undeniably colored the book’s reception through the centuries. In Visions of the Apocalypse, Bruce Chilton maps the ways in which the text has been read through the centuries and introduces these main interpretations of Revelation, such as Papias’ millenarian kingdom, Augustine’s vertical ascent to heaven, Origen’s transcendent message, and Dionysius’ belief in Revelation’s hidden message. Visions of the Apocalypse provides the ways in which Revelation has been read and suggests to today’s readers the strategies for understanding John’s Revelation in a contemporary context. 



1 A Thousand Years of Joy

2 Transcendent Power

3 Oracle of Redemption

4 War with the Antichrist

5 The Progress of the Saints

6 Hell on Earth

7 Visions in Patmos, and Beyond


"This book will make an excellent supplementary text for courses on the Apocalypse. It will also be a helpful guide for anyone wanting a better understanding of how John’s writing has been interpreted through the centuries."

—Mitchell G. Reddish, Stetson University, Interpretation

Visions of the Apocalypse offers readers a respectful, engaging, and insightful description of the major interpretations of the Apocalypse throughout church history, rooting each of these perspectives in their respective historical settings. Bruce Chilton has provided a fine treatment of various perspectives on the Apocalypse both for now and the future.”

—C. Marvin Pate, Chair of Theology, Ouachita Baptist University

"...a thoughtful, perceptive, and intelligently written exploration of this fascinating biblical book. It is accessible enough for a general educated readership, yet contains many fresh insights and perspectives from which experienced scholars will also learn. It should serve as valuable textbook for courses on Revelation and apocalypticism for many years to come."

—Ian Boxall, Catholic University of America, Review of Biblical Literature

“Bruce Chilton provides us with a creative and coherent narrative of how and why various textual approaches to interpreting Revelation emerged—and have remained with us, often in updated cultural garb. Scholars and students alike will greatly benefit from his thoroughly researched and insightful work."

—Michael J. Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary and University

“In Visions of the Apocalypse an articulate master scholar tackles a fascinating subject in an inviting and enjoyable way. Interpreters through history have both resonated with and misappropriated some of the visions in Revelation; the history of interpretation helps us revisit the ancient book in a fresh way.”

—Craig S. Keener, Professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary

Bruce Chilton is Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College in Annandale, New York. He is the author or editor of several volumes, including The Targums: A Critical Introduction and In Quest of the Historical Pharisees.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 175 pages
 8.5in x 5.5in

  REL006100, REL006220, REL006630
 Baylor University Press

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