Reviews of Books -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 60:1 (Spring 1998)
Article: Reviews of Books
Author: Anonymous


Reviews of Books

Peter R. Carrell, Jesus and the Angels: Angelology and the Christology of the Apocalypse of John. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series, 95.) xxii, 270. $54.95, cloth.

Carrell’s book undertakes a detailed examination of the influence of angelology on the depiction of Christ in Revelation, and in particular on the visionary depictions in Rev 1:13–16, 14:14; and 19:11–16. The work is thorough, judicious, and sober. It offers a solid reference point for further reflection on the relations among appearances of God (theophany), of angels, and of Christ, both within the canon of Scripture and in apocalyptic material up to the second century A.D.

After an introductory chapter formulating the issues (chapter 1), the book divides itself roughly into two parts. The first part studies backgrounds in apocalyptic literature: angelic figures in Zechariah, Ezekiel, and Daniel (chapter 2); outstanding angelic figures in extrabiblical apocalyptic (chapter 3); human beings appearing in angel-like form (chapter 4); and some fascinating passages that appear to associate the logos with angels and with angel-like description and function (one section within chapter 4). Chapter 5 investigates extrabiblical sources for possible evidence of Christological thinking influenced by angelology.

The second part studies the depiction of Christ in the Book of Revelation, against the background of the angelic associations discovered in the first part. Chapter 6 considers how Revelation in general treats the relation among God, Christ, and the “revealing angel.” Subsequent chapters consider Rev 1:13–16 in relation to angels and theophany (chapter 7); the specific imagery in Rev 1:13–16 (chapter 8); Rev 14:14 (chapter 9); Rev 19:11–16 (chapter 10). There follows a conclusion summarizing the results from the whole book (chapter 11). One main concern of the book is to respond to a view initially raised by Christopher Rowland. Rowland argues that some Jewish apocalyptic involves “a bifurcation in the conception of God” (5, from James Dunn, Christology in the Making [2d. ed.; London: SCM, 1989], xxiv). Specifically, “Ezekiel 1.26-8, 8.2-4, and Daniel 10.5-6 disclose a trend whereby the human form of God (Ezek. ...

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