A New Kind Of Exposition
As Seeing the Invisible, by D. T. Niles (Harper, 1961, 192 pp., $3.50), is reviewed by Merrill C. Tenney, Dean of the Graduate School, Wheaton College (Illinois).
The relevance of the Book of Revelation to the tensions and crises of our age has been recognized by many commentators and theologians, and novel interpretations are constantly appearing. Frankly abandoning any attempt to treat Revelation literally, the author of As Seeing the Invisible offers a new type of approach which clothes in modern dress the familiar Preterist-Idealist approach, lie has divided his work into four parts: the “Introduction,” which deals with authorship and setting; the “Drama,” which contains a consecutive exposition; the “Plan of Contents,” explaining the structure of Revelation; and a series of “Theological Meditations,” giving a brief application to the successive sections of text which he has selected for homiletical treatment.
The “Introduction” is not technical, hut supplies the setting for Revelation. Dr. Niles does not ascribe the Apocalypse to the author of the Fourth Gospel, but to an otherwise unknown John who wrote during exile on Patmos. The “Drama” is the unique feature of this work, for it explains the content of Revelation by an organized paraphrase adapting the language of Revelation to modern ideas. The interpretation is consistent, although it repudiates any possibility of identifying the seals, trumpets, and vials with specific events in history, whether past, present, or future. Revelation is the figurative description of a conflict which recurs in every generation, to be concluded by the final climactic judgment of the world and the establishment of the city of God.
The “Plan of Contents” contains ...1
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