"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, January 4, 2013

Andrew of Caesarea and the Apocalypse

The Greek Orthodox biblical scholar and historian Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou has a new translation coming out this year on one of the earliest and most influential of biblical commentaries in the Greek world: Guiding to a Blessed End: Andrew of Caesarea and His Apocalypse Commentary in the Ancient Church (CUA Press, 2013), 350pp.

The publisher tells us the following about this book:
Apocalyptic fervor gripped the Eastern Roman Empire as late antiquity drew to a close. The empire confronted bubonic plague, civil war, famine, and catastrophic Persian invasions. Meanwhile, Andrew, archbishop of Caesarea, was tasked with writing what would become the first Greek patristic commentary on the Apocalypse and the single most influential commentary on any biblical book. Andrew preserved existing Eastern Apocalypse interpretation and applied his own exegetical skills to create a commentary that remains fresh and remarkably contemporary.
Andrew emphasized the spiritual value of the Apocalypse, transforming popular understanding of Revelation from a doomsday scenario to a "useful, God-inspired" book that would "guide those who read it to a blessed end." At the time, Revelation was largely rejected from the canon in the East, but Andrew's explanation would change its fate and influence Eastern eschatology forever. His work became the predominant and standard patristic commentary for the Greek East as well as the Slavic, Armenian, and Georgian churches. So highly regarded, it was directly responsible for the eventual acceptance of Revelation into the canon of the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox churches.

In this interesting and insightful work, Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou, the leading expert on Andrew of Caesarea and the first to translate his Apocalypse commentary into any modern language, identifies an exact date for the commentary and a probable recipient. Her groundbreaking book, the first ever written about Andrew, analyzes his historical milieu, education, style, methodology, theology, eschatology, and pervasive and lasting influence. She explains the direct correlation between Andrew of Caesarea and fluctuating status of the Book of Revelation in Eastern Christianity through the centuries.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting! Hmm..

    Ah and that St. Ephraim quote above is priceless!

    'I have my room, some books and a nearby chapel. That is complete happiness.'

    St. Miguel of Ecuador

    - Inspirational Quotes from the Saints


Anonymous comments are never approved. Use your real name and say something intelligent.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...