Patmos in the Reception History of the Apocalypse

Hardcover | May 11, 2013

byIan Boxall

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This monograph explores the significance accorded to John's island of Patmos (Rev. 1:9) within the wider reception history of the Apocalypse. In contrast to the relatively scant attention paid to John's island in modern commentaries, this reception-historical survey reveals both the greaterprominence accorded to Patmos by earlier interpreters, and the richer diversity of readings the text has provoked. These include interest in the physical character of Patmos and its significance as an island; the date and reason for John's sojourn there; attempts to locate Patmos in a geographywhich is sometimes more mythical than literal; the meaning of the name "Patmos" in the context of a biblical book which treats other place-names symbolically. This diversity is supported by a close reading of Rev. 1:9, which highlights the extent to which even its literal sense is highly ambiguous.Ian Boxall brings together for the first time in a coherent narrative a wide range of interpretations of Patmos, reflecting different chronological periods, cultural contexts, and Christian traditions. Boxall understands biblical interpretation broadly, to include interpretations in biographicaltraditions about John, sermons, liturgy, and visual art as well as biblical commentaries. He also considers popular and marginal readings alongside magisterial and centrist ones, and draws analogies between similar hermeneutical strategies across the centuries. In the final chapter Boxall exploresthe wider implications of his study for biblical scholarship, advocating an approach which encourages use of the imagination and reader participation, and which works with a broader concept of "meaning" than traditional historical criticism.

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This monograph explores the significance accorded to John's island of Patmos (Rev. 1:9) within the wider reception history of the Apocalypse. In contrast to the relatively scant attention paid to John's island in modern commentaries, this reception-historical survey reveals both the greaterprominence accorded to Patmos by earlier inter...

Ian Boxall is Senior Tutor and Tutorial Fellow in New Testament at St. Stephen's House, Oxford, UK.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pagesPublished:May 11, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199674205

ISBN - 13:9780199674206

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. I was on the Island Called Patmos : Re-reading Rev. 1:92. Patmos in Early Patristic Tradition (2nd 5th Centuries)3. Patmos in Early Medieval Latin Tradition (6th 10th Centuries)4. Patmos in Later Medieval Latin Tradition (1000 1516)5. Patmos in Eastern Traditions from the 5th Century6. Patmos in Western Interpreters from 15177. Visual Interpretations of Patmos8. Hermeneutical ReflectionsAppendix 1: Patmos in Modern CommentatorsAppendix 2: The Pre-Johannine Reception: Patmos in Classical Sources and Inscriptions