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The Emerge Of The Spiritual Reading Of The Apocalypse In The Third Century

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Chapter Summary

The Apocalypse of John is a contentious book even today when biblical literacy is in decline. A study of the reception of the Apocalypse shows that the book has always been the subject of debate. The connection between chiliasm and the debates over the Apocalypse is real, but it should not be exaggerated for several reasons. Today literal readings of the Apocalypse as a blueprint for what is soon to come abound. There can be no denying that they serve their purpose in making the book real and present for many fundamentalist believers, but one can question if this form of presence is either legitimate or helpful. Perhaps an appreciation of the efforts of the great exegetes of the third century who pioneered the spiritual reading of John's dangerous book can suggest other interpretive possibilities worth exploring in our own much changed historical context.

Keywords: Apocalypse of John; chiliasm; exegetes; fundamentalist believers; spiritual reading



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