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Apocalypse and Allegiance: Worship, Politics, and Devotion in the Book of Revelation Paperback – April 1, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Nelson Kraybill has written a fresh, vigorous, imaginative, demanding exposition of the book of Revelation. He has seen how deeply political the book is and has done superb homework on the Roman governance with which Revelation struggles. But his shrewd historical analysis keeps spilling over into our contemporary life--the life of a military chaplain in Texas, a health-care practice in Indiana, a prison visitor in Nebraska, peacemakers in Palestine, a poet in Japan, the police confounded in South Africa. This way of contemporaneity helps us engage this 'most dangerous book in the Bible.' Readers will be grateful to Kraybill for his agility that continues to surprise and summon as we read."--Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"Few today would doubt the political perspective of the book of Revelation, but which perspective: that of fatalism, or that of active witness and resistance? Writing from the distinctive perspective of the Anabaptist tradition, Nelson Kraybill creatively juxtaposes ancient and contemporary history to illuminate the way this remarkable vision both troubles the complacent and inspires resistance to conformity in the quest for a better world."--Christopher Rowland, University of Oxford

"Though the study and practice of Christian worship has long been deepened by the canticles of Revelation 4, 5, and 7, the rest of the book is rarely engaged in many communities. This provocative volume confronts this neglect and helps us imagine the importance of worship practices that are prophetic, countercultural, and deeply aware of the cosmic significance of the claim that Jesus is Lord."--John D. Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary

About the Author

J. Nelson Kraybill (Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary in Virginia) has served as president of Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary and has taught the book of Revelation for more than twenty years on four continents. He is the author of Imperial Cult and Commerce in John's Apocalypse and frequently speaks in ecclesial and academic settings on biblical themes of discipleship, peacemaking, leadership, and mission. Kraybill lives in Elkhart, Indiana.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Brazos Press (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587432617
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587432613
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #640,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. W. Horn on June 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As both a minister and preacher, this is a book I've been waiting for. Finally a book that helps unravel the language and symbols of the last book of the Christian Bible. If you are looking for a traditional commentary that covers the Revelation of John, this is NOT the book for you. But, if you are looking for a book that will help open up the world that John was writing to and help explain how and why he composed his apocalypse the way he did...then this IS the book for you. And, it is the perfect companion to any commentary you might be using.

With his years of experience as both educator and minister, Dr. Kraybill offers the Church an excellent aid in understanding what the historical book of Revelation might offer the contemporary Church. In a kind, but clear, manner, Kraybill seeks to lead the reader away from fear based theologies of Revelation like those found in the Left Behind series and guide them towards a reading that offers the hope in God that John intended.

In addition to the excellent writing, this volume is also filled with excellent pictures and sidebars that help show the reader what Kraybill is trying to explain.

If you are interested in understanding the message of the Revelation of John...this a great place to start.

Wes Horn
Minister
Orient Street Church of Christ
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Format: Paperback
I grew up hearing and reading a premillennial perspective of the book of Revelation. My first memory of a book on the topic was one that I got as an elementary student as a prize for memorizing scripture verses. The title was "Will Russia Win the Next World War?" It was the early 60s, and Russia was the great national enemy of the moment. Schools were often designated "bomb shelter" or "fallout shelter," and students had drills to prepare for worst-case scenarios. Why wouldn't I be interested in reading the biblical answers to the provocative question raised in the book title?

Recently, I heard J. Nelson Kraybill speak on the book of Revelation, and it was a treat to hear a very different perspective on John's vision of things to come. Rather than trying to figure out the nations or people in our current world who fit the descriptions of John's strange imagery, the focus was on embracing the emphasis on worship of the Lamb and being his faithful followers.

Since then, I've worked my way through "Apocalypse and Allegiance: Worship, Politics, and Devotion in the Book of Revelation." I've enjoyed its wealth of information on the context in which John experienced his vision. I've found the description of the realities and rituals of emperor worship, as well as the pictures of coins, statues, and ruins of temples to be simply fascinating.

If your understanding of Revelation is best portrayed by the "Left Behind" series, I think you would benefit from Kraybill's interesting book. I don't pretend to know how the future will unfold; I tend to think there will be surprises for all of us. As a young person I was challenged by the thought of the imminent return of Jesus. As an older man, I've been blessed by seeing in Revelation the beauty and triumph of the way of the Lamb.
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Format: Paperback
Apocalypse and Allegiance provides the context of First Century life to aid in understanding the symbols and icons that we read about in the last book of the New Testament.

Kraybill throws his hat in with the crowd who believes that John wrote this Revelation for his audience and not people living 2,000 into the future.

Each segment that some Christians believe refer to today, actually had their true meaning found with the Roman emperors who considered themselves to be divine.

You'll read how John took the words used to worship the gods and emperors of Rome and twisted them to point to the worship of Jesus and Yahweh.

Filled with illustrations and images of the items he refers to, Kraybill's book is for anyone who wants a challenge with how to read Revelation.

It is a great introductory book for the every-man.

This book was provided for review by Brazos Press.
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I have read several scholarly books and papers on the New Testament book of Revelation. This is the first scholarly work I've read, however, that links the historical facts of the time to the message John of Patmos was trying to send his fellow believers.

Dr. Kraybill confirmed my suspicion that Revelation is a work that encourages hope through worship and not a work that predicts of the "end of time". Revelation's message transcends time once you understand the experience of first century Christians and Jews.

The book is easy to read and understand. I consider it "must-read" for modern Christians and Jews.
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Dr Kraybill has written a masterful and informative work. The book is filled with historical research, especially of the first and second centuries of the Christian era. These historical references lend credibility to his exegetical treatment of Revelation. Dr Kraybill's pacifist agenda is evident but not overpowering. The book is worth the price for the history review alone.
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Kraybill did well with this. His sidebars about those in the 20th century who have paid a price
to protest wars of aggression are excellent. He knows the 1st century and he knows what is contemporary
valid application.
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