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Commentary-Revelation 1-5 (Word Biblical Commentar V52A) [Hardcover]

By David Aune (Author), Thomas Nelson Publishers (Author) & D. Aune (Author)
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Item description for Commentary-Revelation 1-5 (Word Biblical Commentar V52A) by David Aune, Thomas Nelson Publishers & D. Aune...

David Aune tackles the Greek usage and vocabulary of the Revelation language that are unique to this book and brings refreshing insight to the Apocalypse, unveiling its hidden and mysterious truths. Readers will appreciate how this volume also examines the prophetic nature of Revelation and its place in Christian tradition.

Publishers Description

Dr. David Aune's thoroughness in this definitive commentary on the first five chapters of the book of Revelation is nothing short of monumental. "More is known today about the textual tradition of Revelation than about any other book in the New Testament," he asserts. In an introductory section that could easily stand alone as a book, he presents a comprehensive inventory and evaluation of all categories of textual evidence, and an exhaustive assessment of peculiarities of the syntax in the Greek written by John of Patmos.

Scholars and pastors will appreciate Aune's extensively annotated translation of the text, and his insights into the variant readings and nuances of every significant word.

An advocate of source criticism, Dr. Aune examines the full range of secular and biblical literature in search of possible sources for the striking literary devices in Revelation. His mastery of an incredibly broad range of ancient writings enables him to compare every pericope of Revelation to the literary traditions of the ages that preceded its writing, and thus to evaluate the possible sources for the forms John employed to write his vision. Although this volume of the Word Biblical Commentary series deals only with the first five chapters of Revelation, Aune's detailed introductory comments scrutinize the entire expanse of this mysterious book. He provides an expanded outline of all twenty-two chapters and focuses on the implications for the book of Revelation of such matters as: the use of chronological eschatological visions the recurring sets of sevens the paired angelic revelations beginning in 17:1 and 21:9 the scenes in the heavenly throne room with their hymns possible connections between the scrolls in chapters 5 and 10

All serious students of Revelation will value this latest effort to unravel its mysteries.

As he familiarizes his readers with myriad possible ways to see every detail in the text, Dr. Aune stakes out his own ambitious but well-informed theories. He calls his readers to look afresh at a majestic book, a book at once profoundly Jewish and Christian, and to think with him about how this marriage of dissimilar apocalyptic traditions might have taken place.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Thomas Nelson
Pages   374
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.41" Width: 6.28" Height: 2.04"
Weight:   1.95 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2000
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
Series  Word Biblical Commentary  
Series Number  52  
ISBN  0849902517  
ISBN13  9780849902512  

Availability  0 units.

More About David Aune, Thomas Nelson Publishers & D. Aune

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David E. Aune, Ph.D., is Professor of Theology with specialties in New Testament and Christian Origins at Loyola University in Chicago. He has received M.A. degrees from Wheaton Graduate School of Theology and the University of Minnesota, and his Ph.D. is from the University of Chicago. Among his publications are The New Testament in Its Literary Environment and Prophecy in Early Christianity and the Ancient Mediterranean World.

David Aune has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Word Biblical Commentary

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Reviews - What do customers think about Commentary-Revelation 1-5 (Word Biblical Commentar V52A)?

A Database for Specialists  Aug 17, 2001
Aune's commentary sometimes has the feel of trying to drink from a fire hose. The full bibliographies and extensive notes on textual variants are comprehensive, navigable and useful. Aune's knowledge of ancient literature is also certainly impressive but of doubtful usefulness. This is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that forty-seven pages of 'comment' on Revelation 5:1-14, including twenty-nine pages of grammatical notes, statistics and references to ancient literature, lead to a single page of 'explanation', (where the rubber hits the road in a commentary you might think), fully half of which is merely a recitation of the events described in these verses. Under the weight of so much preparatory material you might expect that the 'explanation' would have formed some jewel of great price. At the risk of being unkind, probably the most profound insight that he, and we, get for the trouble is, 'The striking contrast between the two images [Lion and Lamb 5:6] suggests the contrast between the type of warrior messiah expected by first-cenury Judaism and the earthly ministry of Jesus as a suffering servant of God (see Mat 1:2-6=Luke 7:18-23).'

The aspect of Aune's commentary that deserves to excite the most scholarly debate is his espousal of a multi-source theory of composition. This view has been generally out of favour for some time and so Aune deserves to be commended for taking on this difficult question. In short, Aune suggests three stages of composition. First, the composition of twelve discreet sections of the text in the course of the early prophetic career of the author (a sort of John's greatest hits?). Second, these units are embedded in a longer narrative - the so-called 'First Edition'. Third, further material is added at the beginning and end of the text, with further additions to the body of the text, to arrive at the 'Second Edition'.

The original twelve discreet sections (the early 'hits') 7:1-17; 10:1-11; 11:1-13; 12:1-18; 13:1-18; 14:1-20; 17:1-18; 18:1-24; 19:11-16; 20:1-10; 20:11-15; 21:9-22:5 are initially identified by the presence of 'little if any continuity of the dramatis personae' (p.cxix). This is simply untrue. I was able to find at least twelve characters who were not confined to only one of these sections.

At the second compositional step, according to Aune, John wrote, 'an overall sequential scheme to make the composition comprehensible' (!) (p.cxxix). The extent of Aune's 'First Edition' is difficult to pin down. On p.cxx it is said to run approximately from 1:7-12a; 4:1-22:5. Meanwhile on p.cxxx it is said to have a redactional link (4.1) that connects 1:9-20 and 4:2-22:9. By further contrast, on p.74, we are told that 'Revelaton 1:9-11 looks very much like the original beginning of Revelation (which immediately followed the title in 1:1-3), which was probably followed by Revelation 4:1-6:17.

Aune's views on the extent of the additions used to create the 'Second Edition' are also variable. On p.cxx these consist of 1:1-3,4-6; 1:12b-3:22; 22:6-21. On p.cxxxiv they are instead 1:1-6; 1:12b-3:22; 22:6-21. On p.cxxxii they are 1:1-3; 1:12b-3:22; 22:6-21, or, on the same page, 22:5-21. On p.74-5 it is claimed that Revelation 1:12-20 was inserted together with 2:1-3:22 to form the Second Edition.

These variations almost suggest a two or three stage composition for Aune's commentary. However, the case for multiple source for Revelation does not, so far as I can see, hold up. In his introduction Aune recognises various verses that 'homogenise the text'. He has to account for these as interpolations by an editor, or expansions by the author. In all Aune cites forty instances of additions, expansions, glosses, interpolations, etc., in the introduction. Not satisfied with this Aune appeals to further later additions when he encounters difficulties in his commentary e.g. on pp.36, 58-9, 74.

Aune's overstatement of the distinctive character of his twelve separate 'oracles'; his uncertainty regarding the precise shape of the 'First' and 'Second Edition'; and his appeal to numerous later additions in order to sustain his theory, means that his source proposal hasn't convinced me. Richard Bauckham's contention that Revelation is perhaps the most unified text in the New Testament has, I think, easier to defend.

The sheer size of this project inspires awe. Such reverence is justified when it comes to the bibliographies, analyses of textual variants, and extensive references to ancient literature. However, I was left feeling that the text was more like a database than a commentary.

Encyclopedic in Scope  Mar 23, 2000
I was a part of a graduate (post seminary) seminar on Revelation and found Aune's three volumes to be extra-ordinarily valuable. Between all of the students, we used about all the major commentaries on Revelation, and while others were certainly profitable (including Beale's volume in the New International Greek Testament Commentary, Murphy's "Fallen Is Babylon," and Fiorenza's work)Aune's is encyclopedic and covers almost everything else that other commentators address. If you are looking for a less technical work, though, I recommend David Barr's excellent "Tales of the End."
Aune provides up-to-date Revelation commentary  Jun 30, 1999
Not since R. H. Charles's two-volume 1920 International Critical Commentary has there been a commentary of this quality in English. For years Aune has been a leader in studies of Revelation and apocalyptic. His commentary is a masterpiece. Aune and, more recently, G. K. Beale are to late 20th-century Revelation scholarship what Swete and Charles were at the start of the century. This commentary is for NT scholars and other historians, not for the merely curious lay reader and not implicitly for pastors, though these readers could profit from at least some of this thoroughly documented 3-volume commentary.
Long but narrow.  Dec 24, 1998
The purpose of this work is to relate Revelation to the literary background of the Classical world. Apparently, in order to have room to do this most thoroughly, virtually all other topics are excluded. There is no discussion of canonicity, history of interpretation, or exposition. Even so, the author often piles on so much information, that it is sometimes hard to follow his argument.

Unlike most of the other books in the Word Biblical Commentary series, this treatment in entirely secular in approach. If you are looking for spiritual guidance, you had better look to the works of Boring or Mounce, depending on your theological bent

Very scholarly but deist assumptions  Oct 14, 1998
On the one hand this book is scholarly and thus a great pleasure to read, with many Greek and Hebrew words without any of these horrible transliterations. On the other hand, Aune uses the ideas of the German deist school, which lead to reject the textual and historical (Church Fathers, etc.) evidence for the date, composition, authorship of New Testament docuemnts such as the book of Revelation. A defense of the Christian views (date, composition, author, etc.) on Revelation, which refutes Aune's old liberal arguments, can be found for example in "An Introduction to the New Testament" by D. A. Carson, Douglas Moo and Leon Morris, which book I recommend.

Liberal scholars will certainly greatly benefit from Aune's volumes on Revelation (I only have volumes 52A and 52B, but I assume the next volumes will be similar). To those looking for a Christian commentary on Revelation, I would rather not recommend Aune's books.


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