Monday, October 25, 2010

New Article on the text of Revelation

A former student of mine, Jeff Cate, has written an article on the text of Revelation in a recent book, Essays on Revelation: Appropriating Yesterday’s Apocalypse in Today’s World, Wipf & Stock, 2010 (edited by Gerald Stevens). The title of the article is "The Text of Revelation: Why neither Armegeddon nor 666 may be exactly what you think." The article includes an introduction to the history of textual studies of the book, an overview of the major witnesses, and discussion of some of the major variants.

paz y gracia,

Bill Warren


  1. Bill,

    So, does Jeff C. propose that the number in 13:18 ought to be something other than 666 (such as 616), or is his main point that the enigmatic verse has a discernible gematria-based sense?

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

  2. Hi James,

    The purpose of the essay wasn't to determine the best reading on individual variants, but to introduce readers to the importance of manuscripts issues specifically in the book of Revelation.

    I surveyed different types of variants in Revelation as examples of how changes occur in manuscripts. I included the variants on Armageddon and 666 to show readers that some of the more famous (or infamous?) aspects of the Apocalypse have manuscript issues.

    Regarding 666, I emphasized that since the reading 616 is found in p115, C, and mss-Iren (btw, I didn't have time/space to include/discuss the minuscules known to Tisch.), these are very, very important witnesses and it's a reading that must be taken very seriously. And unfortunately, space limitations did not allow me to elaborate on the gematria options for 666 or 616.

    The essay was mainly an intro the science (and art) of textual criticism as it relates to the book of Revelation specifically.

    Hope this is helpful,
    --Jeff Cate