Gordon Fee, who is one of the most respected NT scholar has written a commentary on Revelation which is due this year. Judging from the interview, the book looks like a must have for those who are grappling with the letter. I’m sure I’ll be saving money for this one because Revelation is one of the hardest book to read and understand. I remember when I was 17 and read Revelation in its entirety, I was mesmerized mainly because of the imagery and it apocalyptic nature. Nevertheless I didn’t understand a thing about it.
To listen or watch the Interview click this link here.
Some notes I took from listening through:
It is important to know the kind of genre or literature that one is reading in the bible, in this case Revelation. The bible made with numberings tend to be a hindrance to reading the bible. People then tend to focus more on a minute detail of the whole message of the book.
According to Fee, Revelation is a unique book in the bible. The last few parts of Daniel has some commonality with Revelation but that is about it. Revelation is the best and greatest book among the other intertestamental material (books that were written between the OT and NT). It was a common type of literature among its readers in that time.
Revelation is a subversive material, where it states that “God is in charge of the universe and not the Roman Empire.”
Revelation is a letter written to the seven churches during that time. It was written in a time where these churches were headed for a terrible holocaust. John (the writer) sees that the martyrdom of Antipas of Pergamum, the harbinger, who John sees as the one who ticks the terrible times that the Christians were to go through. Fee cites the catacombs as a clear example of this.
Revelation is subversive literature and the lessons that can be gained for the book is that it shows us our history. How God is at work even in the times of great distress. In understanding Revelation we are to understand the letter in how its readers would have understood it. This then would bring guidance to how we are to draw lessons from it.
Revelation, according to Fee is mainly about, the 1st Cen. Church that was headed for a dreadful 2nd Cen. holocaust. But God is in control. The task for Christians (then and now) is to be a faithful witness to Christ, where some who, after they have done so may not live long after that.
Well, that’s about as much as I took note of but that’s not even half of what was said in the interview. Listening to this has aroused my interest in reading Revelation again.