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Who Rides the Beast?Prophetic Rivalry and the Rhetoric of Crisis in the Churches of the Apocalypse$
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Paul B. Duff

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195138351

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019513835X.001.0001

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Was There a Crisis Behind Revelation?

Was There a Crisis Behind Revelation?

An Introduction to the Problem

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 Was There a Crisis Behind Revelation?
Source:
Who Rides the Beast?
Author(s):

Paul B. Duff (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019513835X.003.0001

Sets out the problem that gives rise to the rest of the book, the observation that the narrative world of the book of Revelation does not match what we know about the real world that Christians in western Asia Minor inhabited. The narrative world of Revelation suggests a crisis involving persecution of the churches by Rome, but historical evidence does not support this scenario. The chapter surveys recent attempts to solve this problem, including attempts to reevaluate the date of Revelation, the suggestion that the crisis was a perceived crisis, and the suggestion that the norms of apocalyptic rhetoric can account for the “crisis” depicted in the narrative. The chapter concludes by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of these various proposals.

Keywords:   crisis, date of Revelation, perceived crisis, persecution, Revelation, rhetoric, Rome

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