Read e-book online Parables of War: Reading John's Jewish Apocalypse PDF

By John W. Marshall

ISBN-10: 0889203741

ISBN-13: 9780889203747

What makes the publication of Revelation so difficult to appreciate?

How does the publication of Revelation healthy into Judaism and the start of Christianity?

John W. Marshall proposes an intensive reinterpretation of the e-book of Revelation of John, viewing it as a rfile of the Jewish diaspora in the course of the Judean struggle. He contends that categorizing the booklet as "Christian" has been an obstacle in reading the Apocalypse. by means of postponing that class, options to numerous power difficulties in modern exegesis of the Apocalypse are facilitated. the writer hence undertakes a rereading of the ebook of Revelation that doesn't in simple terms enumerate components of a Jewish "background" yet knows the publication of Revelation as an critical entire and a completely Jewish textual content.

Marshall rigorously scrutinizes the issues that plague modern interpretations of the e-book of Revelation, and the way the class of "Christian" pertains to such difficulties. He employs the works of Mieke Bal, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Jean Francois Lyotard, and Jonathan Z. Smith as theoretical assets. within the moment 1/2 his learn, he presents targeted descriptions of the social and cultural context of the diaspora through the Judean warfare, and optimistic rereadings of 4 key textual content complexes.

The result's a portrait of the Apocalypse of John that envisions the record as deeply invested within the Judaism of its time, pursuing rhetorical targets that aren't outlined through the problems that students use to distinguish Judaism from Christianity.

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And, most difficult, to write with a consciousness of Barthes's insight is to strive to locate oneself in a cultural position that is not necessarily a centre and to take responsibility for that act of location; it is, in this instance, also to see my writing as committed to an academic and pluralistic context that does not draw lines confessionally. "This way" is always a "certain way,"14 and also a partial way. Derrida writes that "the 13 Culler (1982:32-33), quoting Barthes (1977; 146). 14 Note Derrick's near-definition of deconstruction: "The movements of deconstruction do not destroy structures from the outside.

Discussing the large, well-integrated Jewish community of Sardis, Thompson writes: "the first Christians at Sardis were probably drawn from the Jewish community there" (1990a: 124). Similarly, he writes of, "city-dwellers in Asia who were neither Christian nor Jewish" (1990a: 130). At many other points in their work, Yarbro Collins and Thompson write with the understanding that the writer and initial audience of the Apocalypse of John are distinct from Judaism. Yarbro Collins writes: "Jewish hostility to the early Christian mission effort is well attested for both the first and the second century" (1984a; 85); "Not only are Jews vilified, but other Christian leaders and the Roman empire are attacked with strong language as well" (1986: 308); "Insofar as Christian messianism appeared to be a new and separate phenomenon, it had no status" (1986: 314); "To the extent that Christian converts were former Jews .

The interpretive category "Christianity," anchored as a topos noetos, reified as a proper name, divinized in its scope and power, is certainly available to twentieth-century readers of the Apocalypse, but it is by no means necessary or neutral. The point is not that some elusive proper category will be necessary and neutral, but that other interpretive categories and strategies formulated within the canons of historical-critical inquiry can address the exegetical difficulties that the Apocalypse poses and can simultaneously expose the difficulties and detriments that the interpretation of the Apocalypse as Christian produces.

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Parables of War: Reading John's Jewish Apocalypse by John W. Marshall

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