Commentary Review:

Wilhelm Bousset's
Die Offenbarung des Johannes

Offered by JEA

The Book of Revelation (German title - “Die Offenbarung des Johannes”) by Wilhelm Bousset, (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht), 1906 (1966 reprint of the 6th [new] edition). German edition.

The first four editions (1859-1887) were written by F. Duesterdieck, while the 5th edition (1896) was also the work of Bousset. Serving as volume sixteen of the highly regarded Meyer commentary series (= “Kritisch-exegetischer Kommentar ueber das Neue Testament”; a number of these volumes were translated into English and published in the Hermeneia series; the Goppelt volume on I Peter in this series was published in 1993 separately by Eerdmans Press), this commentary is a classic. The author was one of the main voices in the history-of-religions school of the turn of the Century. His thesis that the early church simply and in a wholesale way clothed Jesus in the theological garments of the religious milieu is well known; subsequent debate gave rise to revised understandings of how the early church appropriated but also distinguished itself from these backgrounds. Hence, Bousset provides a watershed moment between the old and the new history-of-religions schools of thought about New Testament background.

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