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Biography of a Dream

A Reception-Historical Study of the Fourth Beast in Daniel 7


The biblical apocalyptic books of Daniel and Revelation are, for better or worse, polarizing. Interpreters have long read and searched these books for clues about how their worlds will “end,” which each new interpreter promising to have “unlocked” how Daniel and Revelation work together to uncover a divine plan for prophetic fulfillment. Redding uses the Vision of the Fourth Beast from Daniel 7 as a case study to consider how interpretations of texts take on lives of their own, eventually wedding interpretation with text and prompting the question: what even is a text? Is it what is on the page, something interpreters put there, or a combination of both? Starting with the literature of the Levant, this work traces the use of motifs, images, and themes through Daniel, Revelation, and into pre-Enlightenment Christian thinkers to consider hermeneutical trajectories that shaped (and continue to shape) how modern readers engage biblical apocalyptic literature.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-4243-5
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Publication Status: In Print
Publication Date: Jul 28,2021
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 283
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4243-5
$114.95
Your price: $91.96

The biblical apocalyptic books of Daniel and Revelation are, for better or worse, polarizing. Interpreters have long read and searched these books for clues about how their worlds will “end,” which each new interpreter promising to have “unlocked” how Daniel and Revelation work together to uncover a divine plan for prophetic fulfillment. Redding uses the Vision of the Fourth Beast from Daniel 7 as a case study to consider how interpretations of texts take on lives of their own, eventually wedding interpretation with text and prompting the question: what even is a text? Is it what is on the page, something interpreters put there, or a combination of both? Starting with the literature of the Levant, this work traces the use of motifs, images, and themes through Daniel, Revelation, and into pre-Enlightenment Christian thinkers to consider hermeneutical trajectories that shaped (and continue to shape) how modern readers engage biblical apocalyptic literature.

The biblical apocalyptic books of Daniel and Revelation are, for better or worse, polarizing. Interpreters have long read and searched these books for clues about how their worlds will “end,” which each new interpreter promising to have “unlocked” how Daniel and Revelation work together to uncover a divine plan for prophetic fulfillment. Redding uses the Vision of the Fourth Beast from Daniel 7 as a case study to consider how interpretations of texts take on lives of their own, eventually wedding interpretation with text and prompting the question: what even is a text? Is it what is on the page, something interpreters put there, or a combination of both? Starting with the literature of the Levant, this work traces the use of motifs, images, and themes through Daniel, Revelation, and into pre-Enlightenment Christian thinkers to consider hermeneutical trajectories that shaped (and continue to shape) how modern readers engage biblical apocalyptic literature.

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ContributorBiography

Jonathan Redding

Jonathan Redding is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska. He completed a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel, with a New Testament minor, at Vanderbilt University.

List of Figures ......................................................................... vii
List of Abbreviations ................................................................ ix
Introduction .............................................................................. 1
What is a Text? ................................................................. 1
Chapter Outline ................................................................. 3
Chapter One. Wirkungsgeschichte as a Reception Historical
Principle............................................................................ 7
1.1 Establishing the Problematic ....................................... 7
1.2 A History of the Principle ............................................ 8
1.2.1 Hans-Georg Gadamer........................................... 8
1.2.3 Erich Auerbach and H.R. Jauss .......................... 11
1.3 Reception Thought Beyond Gadamer, Auerbach,
and Jauss ................................................................. 14
Chapter Two. Daniel 7 as a Wirkungsgeschichte Case Study ...... 19
2.1 Why This Investigation? ............................................ 19
2.2 Daniel 7 Translation .................................................. 20
2.3 Daniel 7 Investigation................................................ 25
2.3.1 Structure and Form............................................ 25
2.3.2 Content ............................................................. 27
2.4 Daniel 7 Summation .................................................. 56
Chapter Three. Reading Daniel 2 ............................................ 59
3.1 Why Daniel 2? ........................................................... 59
3.2 Daniel 2 Translation .................................................. 60
3.3 Daniel 2 Investigation................................................ 66
3.3.1 Structure and Form............................................ 66
3.3.2 Content ............................................................. 69
3.4 Daniel 2 Summation .................................................. 89
Chapter Four. Cultural Horizons within Levant Literature ....... 95
4.1 Introductory Remarks ................................................ 95
4.2 Monsters from the Chaotic Sea .................................. 98
4.3 The Motif of Four .................................................... 104
4.4 The Transcendent God and the Fighting Deity ......... 109
4.4.1 The Transcendent God ..................................... 109
4.4.2 The Fighting Deity ........................................... 111
4.5 Dreams and Prophecies ........................................... 117
4.5.1 Egyptian Dreams and Prophecies ..................... 117
4.5.2 Babylonian Dreams, Visions, and
Prophecies ........................................................ 123
4.6 Summation .............................................................. 131
Chapter Five. Consequences of Daniel 7 in the Book of Revelation
..............................................................................133
5.1 The Book of Revelation ........................................... 133
5.2 Daniel 7, Revelation 13, and Inner-biblical Parallels ...134
5.3 The Beast at Revelation 13: A Brief History of
Consequences ........................................................ 142
5.4 Summation .............................................................. 156
Chapter Six. The Fourth Beast in Christian Traditions ........... 157
6.1 Early Christianity Through Late Antiquity ............... 157
6.2 Medieval Christianity Through the Eleventh Century ... 182
6.3 Christian Consequences from the Twelfth Century
CE to the Doorstep of the Reformation ................... 200
6.4 Christian Consequences of the Reformation ............. 213
6.5 Summation .............................................................. 228
Chapter Seven. Conclusions for Further Study ....................... 233
7.1 Directions for Future Research................................. 233
Bibliography ......................................................................... 237
Index .................................................................................... 257

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