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July 2012
Monday, 02 July 2012 16:40

In the first article of this issue, Michael Tait examines the questions which have been raised about the ‘voice’ of the Bridegroom in John 3:29. He shows that there is nothing anomalous about the expression, either in the Johannine narrative or in within the world of the metaphor. However, his article goes on to investigate possible alternative meanings of the phrase, such as the ‘fame’ of the Bridegroom or the ‘declaration’ about the Bridegroom, and concludes by hazarding that there may even be an ellipsis enabling John to confirm that he is the voice of the Bridegroom as well as the voice crying in the wilderness.

Our second article explores the particular challenges posed to contemporary interpreters of the Apocalypse of John. As a brief survey of its reception history shows, these may be different from the difficulties encountered by commentators of earlier centuries. Some of these challenges are posed by popular readings which treat the Book of Revelation as a guide-book to the End of the World, or interpret its theological vision in a world-denying way. But it is argued that the relative neglect of the Apocalypse by the mainstream churches, and the tendency to historicise typical of much recent critical scholarship, also need to be challenged in a holistic approach to the last book of the Bible.

Scripture Bulletin is also pleased to announce the latest addition to the Take and Read series: a volume on the Acts of the Apostles by Fr Henry Wansbrough OSB. We include a brief note from the series editor, Fr Adrian Graffy.

Ian Boxall

Monday, 02 July 2012 16:37

Michael Tait holds the Licence in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the PhD from the University of Manchester.

The difference in emphasis between the Johannine Baptist and the John of the Synoptics is well-known: whereas the latter is portrayed as an eschatological prophet preaching repentance, the focus of the former is almost exclusively on his role as a witness to Jesus.  Related to this basic contrast, two other differences in detail are worth noticing. Only in the Fourth Gospel does John describe himself as the Voice in the Wilderness (1:23), and only there does he describe Jesus as the Bridegroom.

Monday, 02 July 2012 16:34

Ian Boxall is Editor of Scripture Bulletin, and Tutor in New Testament at St Stephen's House, Oxford.

It is probably fair to say that no other biblical book has had so many detractors and critics – inside as well as outside the churches – as the Book of Revelation. Commentators often cite the famous words of Martin Luther, in his Preface to Revelation of September 1522:

'My spirit cannot accommodate itself to this book. For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it. … Therefore I stick to the books which present Christ to me clearly and purely.'

Monday, 02 July 2012 00:00

Fr Adrian Graffy is the editor of the Take and Read series (Alive Publishing).

The first four volumes of the Take and Read series, on the four gospels, were published in 2009.

Now the same group of authors, Ian Boxall, Adrian Graffy, John J Henry and Henry Wansbrough is producing four more volumes, on further books of the New Testament.

Reviews & Notices
Monday, 02 July 2012 16:20

Books reviewed:

James Chukwuma Okoye, Scripture in the Church. The Synod on the Word of God (reviewed by Adrian Graffy).

Michael Patella, Angels and Demons: A Christian Primer of the Spiritual World (reviewed by Ian Boxall).

Wendy Beckett and Greg Tricker, The Christ Journey (reviewed by Ian Boxall).