Friday, January 24, 2014

A 72 Day Journey Through the Liturgy of the Apocalypse

From the time I was in fourth grade, I've found the Book of Revelation and all its imagery fascinating. When I went to Calvin College to get my B.A. in Greek, I became interested the uniqueness of the Greek in Revelation as well as the unusual textual variants found throughout the book. In my last year at Calvin, my adviser allowed me to put together a class in which I translated my way through the Book of Revelation from the Robinson/Pierpont Byzantine Greek New Testament and used G.K. Beale’s commentary to help me along the way. After I graduated, I revised and published my translation through Lulu. Since that time, I've developed a better understanding of verbal aspect and my understanding of how the text should be interpreted has changed. My plan is to revise my translation and also write a devotional commentary to go along with it.

The Protestant Reformers insisted that God preserves His Word through the church. Unfortunately, modern textual criticism makes its textual decisions based on the idea that the church has corrupted God’s Word and that the academy must reconstruct the text. Since I am approaching the text with the assumption that God has preserved His Word through the church, I will be using a text prepared by the Center For the Study and Preservation of the Majority Text based on a consensus from the Complutensian manuscripts. It’s a very uniform textual group and great care was taken in its transmission. 

The translation will seek to bring out more of the Greek nuances than mainstream translations do. In some sense it will be more literal but also more interpretive. I plan to post the first draft of my translations on Facebook in order to get some feedback. My translation will draw from what I’ve learned by reading Dr. James Voelz’s work on verbal aspect. I may attempt to provide a second translation that is more suitable to be heard.

The text will then be broken down into the 72 readings following Andreas of Caeserea’s division of the text. I will write a short devotional commentary for each section.  The devotions will assume that Revelation is structured upon an early form of the Paschal liturgy as found in Massey H. Shepherd’s The Paschal Liturgy and the Apocalypse. I believe that this liturgical structure makes the hearer of Revelation a contemporary of the events described in Revelation. Within the devotional commentary I will pay special attention to liturgical, sacramental, and Christological aspects of Revelation and will attempt to distill what I consider to be the best insights I have found from the ancient church fathers, G.K. Beale, Louis Brighton, Charles Gieschen and others into a style and format that is accessible to the lay person. I do not plan to spend much time interacting with other interpretations but to simply put forth what I believe to be the best interpretation of the text.

I’m hoping to do this within a one year time period. When I get close to the end, I will look around for publishers.  If all else fails I will publish via Lulu.


Anonymous said...

Dear Charles/ Chuck,

I look forward to buying the book!

Warmly in Christ,

Marc said...

Well you can count me as a customer. Very excited for this!