Most often when we come to the Apostle John's great enigmatic work Revelation we think of end times, cataclysm, heavenly wars, and the destruction of the world. Perhaps there is something more? What about a story? That is, after all, what John is doing--telling us a story. He is giving us a narrative, a description of what he sees, and that is what John is after all--a master theologian who encapsulates truth and meaning in stories. Read his Gospel lately? Here James L. Resseguie treats John in just that way, a storyteller describing the unimaginable events of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. He wants us to hear what John heard, see what he saw, and feel as he did. Perhaps understanding Revelation as a story will help us sort through the enigmatic and cumbersome book that has baffled scholars, churchmen, and everyone else for over a thousand years.
As the only book of its kind in the New Testament, Revelation can be difficult to understand, and for readers without specialized training, the historical-critical approach used in many commentaries can provide more complication than illumination. Here James Resseguie applies the easily understandable tools introduced in his primer on narrative criticism to this challenging book. He shows how Revelation uses such features as rhetoric, setting, character, point of view, plot, symbolism, style, and repertoire to construct its meaning. This literary approach draws out the theological and homiletical message of the book and highlights its major unifying themes: the need to listen well, an overwhelmingly God-centered perspective, and the exodus to a new promised land. Here is a valuable aid for pastor and serious lay reader alike.
James L. Resseguie (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is the J. Russell Bucher Professor of New Testament at Winebrenner Theological Seminary in Findlay, Ohio. He is the author of several books and articles, including Narrative Criticism of the New Testament: An Introduction and Spiritual Landscape: Images of the Spiritual Life in the Gospel of Luke.