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By Frank Chamberlin Porter / Charles Scribner’s Sons / 1911
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The books of Daniel and Revelation are rather a perplexity than a comfort to the average reader of the Bible. Some, indeed, in every age have taken delight in these books above all others just because of their mystery, but for the majority, apart from the impressive admonitions in the letters at the beginning of Revelation, and the glowing pictures of the New Jerusalem at the end, these have been sealed books. In quite recent times the historical method has, it’s not too much too say, broken the seals. To the historical student these apocalypses have become, in their general character and chief message, among the best—instead of the least—understood books of the canon. And their importance has grown with their understanding.
It is chiefly from the apocalypses, canonical and uncanonical, that we are to gain an understanding of the Jewish religion at the time of Christ. It is from these books that we are to get a true conception of the faiths and hopes, the motives and emotions of primitive Christianity. They are to serve as one of our chief helps to an understanding of the Pauline Christology, and even as our principal way of approach to that central and supreme problem of historian and theologian alike, the Messianic self-consciousness of Jesus himself.
The Messages of the Apocalyptic Writers contains the books of Daniel and Revelation and some uncanonical apocalypses rendered in paraphrase and with introductions and notes.
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A very useful and convenient manual of Jewish and Christian apocalyptic from the historical point of view.
An excellent manual. Professor Porter’s introduction to the study of these writings is done in a clear, systematic, and erudite manner. His tone throughout is scholarly and objective.
In ample introductions and notes Professor Porter has given a confessedly obscure subject the lucid treatment it requires.
Frank Chamberlin Porter (1859–1946) was Winkley Professor of Biblical Theology at Yale Divinity School from 1891 to 1927. His works include A Statement of Christian Belief, Biblical and Semitic Studies, and The Mind of Christ in Paul.