Apocalyptic literature requires a special consideration from interpreters and Bible students. There are some special steps that must be taken in interpreting apocalyptic literature in order to be successful in our interpretation and exposition.
The book Interpreting Apocalyptic Literature: An Exegetical Book, by Richard A. Taylor and David M. Howard Jr. (Kregel, 2016) is one of the most recently released books on the subject of apocalyptic literature. This volume is part of the Handbooks for Old Testament Exegesis, a series published by Kregel Academic. The authors present a very well-developed and structured text. They include the basic and beyond for readers to obtain the tools to interpret apocalyptic literature.
The book is composed by six chapters. Chapter 1 answers the logical and foundational question: What is Apocalyptic Literature? The information provided by the authors in answering this question is sufficient and clear enough. Even readers who are not familiar with apocalyptic literature could understand what they are sharing in this introductory chapter.
In chapter 2 the authors present major themes in apocalyptic literature. They consider representative texts (Daniel, Old Testament Prophets, among others) as an example of apocalyptic literature, and provide a brief overview of these texts. The also cover themes deriving from apocalyptic literature.
Chapter 3 prepares the road for interpretative aspects (Preparing for Interpretation of Apocalyptic Literature). The authors not only cover textual issues as figurative language, or issues of text. They also provide a section where they provide tools to work with original languages such as bible study software, lexical resources, and grammatical resources.
Chapter 4 deals with interpretation. Taylor and Howard provide guidelines for interpretation where they cover foundational aspect students need to consider in the study of apocalyptic literature. They also cover some pitfalls students need to identify and avoid in interpreting this style of literature.
Chapter 5 is devoted to proclaiming apocalyptic literature. This chapter is of great value as preaching apocalyptic literature requires special considerations. An exegetical outline as well as a homiletical outline of Daniel 7 is provided, so students can have an illustration of what is being said. Pastors and preacher will find this chapter very useful for their ministries.
In chapter 6, the authors present sample texts from apocalyptic literature. Both an exegetical and a homiletical outline of Daniel chapter 8 are provided in this closing chapter. In addition to that, a section called Lessons from Locust (Joel 2:28-32) is also included in this chapter. These two examples are illustrations of how to do an exegetical study of text from apocalyptical literature and what needs to be done to move form exegesis toward the exposition of the text.
I found this text to be very valuable for pastors, preachers and bible students in general. The authors write in a very accessible and concise way, providing a 200 pages book full of indispensable information for serious Bible students.
I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255