"Graves provides an interdisciplinary approach arguing that the genre of the seven messages in Revelation 2–3 is hybrid prophetic oracle, influenced by the Torah. To support this he delivers a thorough and balanced treatment of the ancient Near Eastern vassal treaty structure and its influence on the messages to the seven churches of Asia Minor. Graves carefully traces the influence of the vassal treaty structure from the ancient Near East to the first-century, leaving no stone unturned in the process. This study also examines the function of the seven messages of Revelation within the context of the first-century church of Asia Minor. Why were these messages given to the churches and what was going through John’s mind in using the covenant structure?
This work is sure to interest those fascinated with the literary genre, structure, and function of the messages to the seven churches. Written in a readable format, this work is both an excellent introduction to the book of Revelation and a resource for the apocalyptic specialist.
"Dr. Graves seeks to shed light on the problem of the structure of thought in Revelation by placing the work as a whole and the messages to the seven churches in particular firmly in the context of the ancient near eastern vassal treaties that have also influenced the shape of covenantal theology in the Old Testament. This carefully researched thesis brings a new contribution to the interpretation of the apocalypse and deserves close examination." — I. Howard Marshall (Emeritus Professor of New Testament Exegesis, University of Aberdeen)Thanks to all who helped make this possible.
The image is a tablet of Hittite laws and vassal treaties, Istanbul Archaeology Museum. © 2009 Dr. David E. Graves