on 14 May 2013
Book review of the Revelation of Jesus Christ by Ranko Stefanovic
First of all I must say the book has an excellent introduction. The author has written a clear and concise introduction. Fx The author of Revelation, place and date of writing, purpose of the book, interpreting the book, traditional methods of interpretation, symbolic nature of revelation, objectives of the commentary, literary arrangement and threefold structure of Revelation.
I was especially interested in the part where Stefanovic wrote about basics steps of biblical exegesis. He points out in his explanation of biblical exegesis that it includes meanings like to draw out, let the biblical text speak for itself, study the units and passages, relation of words to each other in the sentences, and immediate context of the passage.
Stefanovic goes on to say that there are two basic steps in biblical exegesis. The first involves determining what the text meant for the time when it was written. Second, the interpreter must explore the linguistic, literary, historical, geographical, religious, philosophical, and cultural context of the time when the biblical text was written. Such an approach to the text assumes serious involvement and willingness to make an effort with all the rigor and tools of scholarship.
I could not agree more with what Stefanovic says about biblical exegesis.
However what one writes in theory can be the opposite of what one practices.
For example in Revelation 1:10 Stefanovic's explanation of the "Lord's day," on pages 94-96.
Stefanoc gives a series of explanations of the citation "Lord's day" from a series of scholars and commentators. He says "most commentators, a few scholars, some authors, another view, a number of scholars, etc." He concludes his explanation of the "Lords day" by saying the eschatological character of the book as a whole is also in favor of the eschatological day of the Lord. It is not reasonable to see a double meaning in John's enigmatic phrase. Hence "the Lord's" day has a double meaning, the Sabbath and the eschatological day of the Lord.
Having given various meanings to the citation "Lord's day," my question is where is the exegesis of the text? Quoting different authors and their different interpretations is not exegesis. This is what Stefanovic is doing, it is not exegesis but eisegesis. That is he is imposing his own interpretation into the text without doing the real work of exegetical studies.
For example if Stefanovic did a word study of the citation "day of the Lord" he will find out that from 29 texts in the bible, 28 of them refer to a negative judgment message immediately after each citation. Where as the citation "Lord's day" is only followed by Christ's ministry in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. This in turn is followed by the message to the 7 churches. The eschatalogical message of Revelation comes later and not immediately after as in the other cases.
My question is, where is his own personal exegesis to the text that produces such a conclusion as a double meaning? Furthermore this study on Rev 1:10 is an introduction in how Stefanovic does his exegesis/eisegesis for the rest of the book.
There are three reasons why a theologian avoids the use of exegesis in his study.
1. He is trying to sell a book and therefore tries to be in agreement with the majority of theologians.
2. He does not know the difference between exegesis and eisegesis.
3. He has no time to do exegesis, and therefore reiterates what other commentaries write on the subject, forming his own eisegesis.
06.06.2015 Whilst browsing the internet on the for mentioned date, I found the AUSS paper that Stefanovic was reffering to. This can be found on:
Why he did not send it to me when I gave my comment on http://www.amazon.com remains a mystery or he is beginning to realise that the paper is not an exegesis. After reading the AUSS paper I realized that it was a paper and not an exegesis of Rev 1:10 "The Lord's Day." Stefanovic is not doing exegesis in the paper but reiterating other theologians who have done the work for him. This again is not exegesis but eisegesis where one in this case gathers together all the studies of the main theologians on the subject e.g Rev 1:10 "the Lord's Day" and arriving at a common consensus, as in this case a double meaning for the Lord's Day.
To follow all the points of this debate see my website at www.ayin.dk Dan 11:41.