Reading Revelation After Supersessionism

An Apocalyptic Journey of Socially Identifying John's Multi-Ethnic Ekklēsiai with the Ekklēsia of Israel

By Ralph J. Korner

Reading Revelation After Supersessionism

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  • ISBN: 9781725274655
  • Pages: 332
  • Publication Date: 11/11/2020
  • Retail Price: $39.00
Web Price: $31.20
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM
Web Price: $31.20

Reading Revelation After Supersessionism

An Apocalyptic Journey of Socially Identifying John's Multi-Ethnic Ekklēsiai with the Ekklēsia of Israel

By Ralph J. Korner

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781725274655
  • Pages: 332
  • Publication Date: 11/11/2020
  • Retail Price: $39.00
Web Price: $31.20
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM

About-

In this volume, Ralph Korner argues that John’s extensive social identification with Judaism(s), Jewishness, and Jewish institutions does not reflect a literary program of replacing Israel with the ekklēsiai (“churches”/“assemblies”), that is the Jewish and non-Jewish followers of Jesus as Israel’s Messiah. Rather, John is emplacing his Christ-followers further within Israel, without thereby superseding Israel as a national identity for ethnic Jews who do not follow Jesus as the Christos.

There are three primary roads travelled in this investigative journey. First, Korner explores ways in which a Jewish heritage is intrinsic to the literary structure, genre, eschatology, symbolism, and theological motifs of the Apocalypse. Second, he challenges the linear chronology of (generally) supersessionist dispensational readings of Revelation’s visionary content by arguing for a reiterative/repetitive structure based on certain literary devices that also provide structure for visions within Jewish apocalypses and Hebrew prophecies. Third, he incorporates the most recent research on ekklēsia usage, especially in Asia Minor, to assess how John’s ekklēsia associations might have been (non-supersessionally) perceived, especially by Jews in Roman Asia.

Endorsements & Reviews-

“Following on his impressive study of the Greek term ekklēsia, Ralph Korner here engages an extremely important issue in current scholarship, too often ignored: the challenge of addressing supersessionism in the Book of Revelation.”

—Elaine Pagels, Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion; Princeton University



“In the book of Revelation, does John have a supersessionist agenda in which Christ-followers replace historic Israel? Or can Revelation be read in other ways? In this impressive and closely argued book, written with full cognizance of the latest scholarship, Korner brings a whole range of different issues and insights to bear upon these important questions. This is a very significant contribution to current debates and is essential reading for all future discussions of supersessionism.”

—Paul Trebilco, University of Otago, New Zealand



“In this ground-breaking study, Korner provides a carefully nuanced understanding of Revelation by focusing attention on group dynamics and nomenclature in the Roman world. He convincingly demonstrates that Revelation is supersessionist in wanting to replace the Roman imperium with a new Jewish order, yet given the thoroughly Jewish nature of the author’s symbolic universe, it is ‘post-supersessionist’ when it comes to the Judeans themselves. A rare combination of arguments that are scholarly and accessible at the same time.”

—Richard S. Ascough, Queen’s University



“In this important book, Ralph Korner argues that Revelation has a very clear supersessionist agenda, but not in relation to Jews and Judaism. Rather, from within a Jewish symbolic universe, Revelation targets the Roman Empire on multiple fronts, claiming that its days are counted; Rome will be replaced by the eschatological new Jerusalem. Arguing his case, Korner ingeniously brings his expertise in ancient institutions, notably those called ekklçsiai, to bear on several interpretive cruces, showing convincingly that reading Revelation as a Jewish text unlocks key aspects of its message. Highly recommended for anyone interested in understanding Revelation, but also more generally for those seeking to know more about what it means to read the New Testament from a late first-century Jewish perspective.”

—Anders Runesson, author of Divine Wrath and Salvation in Matthew



“Ralph Korner sets forth an impressive response to a vexing problem: does the book of Revelation promote a theology that displaces Judaism? Thankfully, Korner refuses to dodge the complexity of the problem. His careful examination of Revelation at multiple dimensions reveals an Apocalypse that promotes a thoroughly Jewish vision for following Jesus. Korner shows that Revelation’s two references to the ‘synagogue of Satan’ need not be understood as a condemnation of Jews who do not worship Jesus.”

—Greg Carey, Lancaster Theological Seminary



“In a well-documented and superbly nuanced study Ralph J. Korner has penned a defining historical, exegetical, and socio-political critique of popular and less precise views of Revelation which continue to advance many supersessionistic theories. He challenges contemporary readers to reconsider their understanding of the ancient writer’s basic concepts such as: ekklçsia and synagogue, even Jew and Christian, as well as the very nature of covenant letter and apocalyptic prophecy. I highly recommend this work.”

—Gerald Borchert, Carson-Newman University



“Has God rejected Israel and transferred his covenant to the church?—a claim based not least on the Christian Apocalypse. Korner, a specialist in its ecclesiology, argues not: the Revelation’s portrayal of God’s multi-ethnic people in terms of Jewish history, imagery, and literary techniques, far from displacing Israel, ‘emplaces’ the church within God’s irrevocable covenant with Abraham’s children. Korner’s challenge to supersessionism in this NT book should prompt careful review of our exegetical tradition.”

—Paul A. Rainbow, Kairos Project and Sioux Falls Seminary



“Truly a work of leading-edge scholarship, a precious stone amidst all the clay (to borrow from 4 Ezra 7). Korner labors assiduously to overcome the anachronistic or erroneous understandings of terms and concepts, like ekklçsia, historically divested of their Jewish heritage and essence. Reestablishing the thoroughly Jewish character of the Apocalypse, he proffers that its epistolary framework may be more precisely a ‘covenantal letter to the Diaspora,’ and its only supersessionist agenda the proleptic and future displacement of the Roman imperium.”

—Henri Louis Goulet, Messianic Studies Institute, Columbus, Ohio

Contributors-

Ralph J. Korner

Bio(s)-

Ralph J. Korner is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Academic Dean at Taylor Seminary (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada).

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