Seven Congregations in a Roman Crucible
290 Pages

Seven Congregations in a Roman Crucible



While commentaries continue to be published on the book of Revelation, few, if any, attempt to interpret the Apocalypse in light of the political, historical, and cultural setting of John's original audience. The purpose of Seven Congregations in a Roman Crucible is to provide fresh and illuminating exegesis of Revelation that takes seriously ancient literary and archaeological evidences. This book seeks to bring the reader into the world of John's Apocalypse with pictures of numerous sites and artifacts from the first and early second centuries AD. Moreover, the book also attempts to interpret John and his message through the lens of the Jewish prophetic tradition of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, and other pertinent Second Temple works. Thus John stands in the prophetic heritage of Israel in his attempt to challenge, threaten, admonish, and praise the seven churches of Roman Asia whose members are suffering at the hands of the idolatrous Graeco-Roman culture in which they reside.



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Published 05 March 2013
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EAN13 9781725247352
Language English
Document size 24 MB

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Seven Congregations in a Roman Crucible
Seven Congregations in a Roman Crucible
A Commentary on Revelation –
R IC HA R D E . O ST E R J R .
Copyright ©  Richard E. Oster Jr. All rights reserved. Except for brief quota-tions in critical publications or reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission from the publisher. Write: Permis-sions. Wipf and Stock Publishers,  W. th Ave., Suite , Eugene, OR .
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright , Division of Christian Edu-cation of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Wipf & Stock An Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers  W. th Ave., Suite  Eugene, OR 
ISBN : ----
Manufactured in the U.S.A.
As many scholars know, their families usually have spouses and parents who are not always available as they should be. at was also true in my circumstance. It might not provide much con-solation, but I dedicate this work to my family, Sandy and our three children, Molly, Grant, and Bradley, to express thanks for an unreasonable amount of love and joy they provide.
Preface / ix Acknowledgments / xi List of Abbreviationsxii /
Introduction /  / John the Prophet on Patmos Introduction to the Seven Letters /  / e Prophecy to Ephesus / e Prophecy to Smyrna / e Prophecy to Pergamum e Prophecy to yatira /  e Prophecy to Sardis /  / e Prophecy to Philadelphia e Prophecy to Laodicea / 
Appendix A: John’s Crisis, Real or Imagined? /  Appendix B/ : Did John’s Prophecies Fail? Appendix C/ : Fictive Globalism
Captions for Figures / Bibliography /
Author Index/  Subject Index/  Ancient Documents Inde / 
T    book has not only been protracted, but its scope and aims have undergone many metamorphoses. In the mid-s my wife, Sandy, and our three children moved to Germany for an eight-month Sabbatical. During that period we met with other Christians who wor-shiped at theGemeinde Christiin Cologne, Germany. ey encouraged me to teach a Sunday morning Bible study on the book of Revelation. A very rudimentary English manuscript was provided so that the study could be bilingual. is manuscript was hardly more than an embellished outline for a study of the book of Revelation, but it did provide to me the opportunity to introduce to some in the congregation new perspectives about the book of Revelation, including its structure and background. Now some twenty years later the manuscript has evolved into some-thing signicantly dierent, both in size and focus. My work on this com-mentary has also benetted from interaction with students in an English exegesis course I teach on the book of Revelation. By design it is no longer the same kind of commentary that I was working on even a few years ago. In addition to the obvious need to interact with others portions of Scrip-ture, I have attempted to incorporate appropriate Graeco-Roman and Jew-ish materials, including literary sources, epigraphical, architectural, and numismatic artifacts. In an attempt to stay engaged with the author of Revelation and his outlook, and since I regard Revelation as a part of Scripture, I have oc-casionally remarked about the contemporary signicance of the prophet John’s message for Christianity in the West. I have felt the need to expand an argument or two in appendices at the end of the book or use an ap-pendix to give the reader additional resources. For further information and conversation go to