Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wishful Thinking

The great majority of Christians take very little interest in the Revelation of St. John because it seems so obscure and mysterious and very difficult to understand. It is probably the least read book in the Bible.
So writes R.L. Weidner of the Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary, in his 1898 commentary on Revelation.  (At Google books). This seems terribly unfair to Nahum, Habbakkuk, and the Song of Songs

Perhaps the culture of American Christianity has taken a more apocalyptic turn since then, or perhaps Prof. Weidner was simply mistaken.

In any case, we're bracing ourselves to lead a parish Bible study on this book, which -- however strangely popular it may be -- remains "obscure, mysterious and very difficult to understand."  Wish us well.

1 comment:

Matthew Frost said...

Ah, the days before Maywood. How provincial, too—had he not read American Calvinists of the time?

If for "Bible" one substitutes "New Testament," which many implicitly do, and for "very difficult to understand" one substitutes "quite unlike Paul and the Synoptic gospels," his last statement is still wrong, but everything up to that gets much clearer.