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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: August 2019

1 - The Literary Forms of the Book of Revelation

Summary

In this chapter, it is shown that the textual heterogeneity of the book of Revelation is only on the surface. To the contrary, it has a clear structure, designed to provide unity to the whole: a prologue in which the author provides the guidelines to the reader (1. 1–3); an introductory liturgical dialogue (1. 4–8); an account of the things John saw and heard during his vision (1.9–22.16); and a closing liturgical dialogue (22.17–21). After this, the type of account constituted by Rev 1.9–2.16 is examined, through analysis of previous proposals. We conclude that Rev 1.9–2.16 is a special narrative, with the following characteristics: the use of a homodiegetic narrator (allowing John to simultaneously appear as a witness to the story and as one of its characters, and thus to highlight the veracity of the story he tells); a flexibility in the use of space–time coordinates; the variety of characters that participate in the plot; the fact that the plot has a happy ending; etc. Finally, I explore the author’s purpose of showcasing the truthfulness of the narrative.