This book argues that the genre of the seven messages in Revelation 2–3 is a hybrid prophetic oracle. This oracle is influenced by the Old Testament covenantal elements functioning as a set of lawsuit exhortations. Graves defends this by demonstrating the influence of the Ancient Near Eastern vassal treaty structure in the seven messages. Written in a readable format this work is both an excellent introduction to the book of Revelation as well as a fitting work for the apocalyptic specialist.
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Graves provides an interdisciplinary approach arguing that the genre of the seven messages in Revelation 2–3 is hybrid prophetic oracle, influenced by the Torah. To support this he delivers a thorough and balanced treatment of the ancient Near Eastern vassal treaty structure and its influence on the messages to the seven churches of Asia Minor. Graves carefully traces the influence of the vassal treaty structure from the ancient Near East to the first-century, leaving no stone unturned in the process. This study also examines the function of the seven messages of Revelation within the context of the first-century church of Asia Minor. Why were these messages given to the churches and what was going through John’s mind in using the covenant structure?
This work is sure to interest those fascinated with the literary genre, structure, and function of the messages to the seven churches. Written in a readable format, this work is both an excellent introduction to the book of Revelation and a resource for the apocalyptic specialist.
“Dr. Graves seeks to shed light on the problem of the structure of thought in Revelation by placing the work as a whole and the messages to the seven churches in particular firmly in the context of the ancient near eastern vassal treaties that have also influenced the shape of covenantal theology in the Old Testament. This carefully researched thesis brings a new contribution to the interpretation of the apocalypse and deserves close examination.” — I. Howard Marshall (Emeritus Professor of New Testament Exegesis, University of Aberdeen)
David E. Graves (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) is Director of Computer Services and Part-Time Religious Studies Faculty at Crandall University in Moncton, NB and Adjunct Professor, School of Religion at Liberty University Online in Lynchburg VA. He is the author of a number of articles on the Book of Revelation and his archaeological research in Tall el-Hammam, Jordan.