Greek Commentaries on Revelation by Oecumenius and Andrew of Caesarea is from InterVarsity Press’ Ancient Christian Texts series. Both commentaries come from the 6th century and provide opposing views on the book of Revelation.
Oecumenius’ commentary is the earlier commentary, dating from the early 6th century, is the earliest full commentary in Greek. Oecumenius interprets Revelation spiritually and out of sequence. The basic structure of Oecumenius’s commentary comes from his interpretation of the seven seals. He interprets the opening of the seals as a revelation of the works of the Son of God- from his physical birth at the Incarnation to his second coming. He interprets the Millennium as the life of Christ. Oecumenius’ commentary has a strong emphasis on the Incarnation of the Word with the purpose of the book of Revelation being to reveal His Incarnation.
Andrew of Caesarea’s commentary follows the traditionally accepted views on the book of Revelation. Andrew’s commentary became the standard in the Byzantine tradition and was followed by the Majority Text. Andrew doesn’t get into much theological depth. He doesn’t refer to Oecumenius by name, but Andrew does mention the views of Oecumenius in order to offering an opposing position. Andrew interprets Revelation as present and future events.
Greek Commentaries on Revelation show’s interesting insights into the views of the sixth century. I was more interested in Andrew’s views because they follow the more traditional view of Revelation, but it was also interesting to read Oecumenius’ interpretations. It was interesting to see that Oecumenius divided the book of Revelation into 12 books, while Andrew divided it into 24. Neither commentary has a lot of theological depth, but too much depth can sometimes be a hindrance to commentary, especial on the book of Revelation where things are not always clear and can easily be spiritualized or be made to fit into current events.
Greek Commentaries on Revelation is an interesting book. I recommend it to anyone interested in reading opposing views on Revelation from the early Church traditions.
I would like to thank InterVarsity Press for this free review copy. My opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.