Acknowledgements Abbreviations Introduction 1. Bede and the Latin Tradition of Exegesis of Revelation 1.1 The Roots of Bede's Major Exegetical Theme 1.2 Victorinus of Pettau 1.3 Apocalyptic Retreats and Revivals in the Fourth Century 1.4 Tyconius 1.5 The Tyconian Tradition from Augustine to the End of the Sixth Century 2. Bede's Immediate Sources and How He Used Them 2.1 `Commaticum interpretandi genus' 2.2 A Mosaic of Quotations 2.3 Reconstructing Bede's Use of Tyconius 2.4 The Occlusion of Primasius 2.5 Did Bede Read Caesarius? 2.6 Bede's Borrowings from Augustine 2.7 Bede Reads Jerome and Gregory 2.8 Was Bede's Exegesis Influenced by Visual Sources? 2.9 Bede and the Text of the Bible 3. Date and Circumstances of Composition 3.1 The Significance of the Date of Composition 3.2 The Commentary on Revelation and the Preface to the Commentary on Acts 3.3 Obstrepentes causae? 3.4 An Apocalyptic Eighth Century? 4. Shape and Style of the Commentary on Revelation 4.1 The Poem of Bede the Priest 4.2 Bede's Preface: The Structure of Revelation and the `periochae' 4.3 Bede's Preface: The Methodological Framework 4.4. The Unscheduled Future: How Bede Shapes the Meaning of Revelation 4.5 Judgement and Reform 5. Bede's Commentary on Revelation: Transmission and Translation 5.1 Transmission in Manuscript 5.2 The Commentary in Print 5.3 Principles Governing the Present Translation Bede: Commentary on Revelation The Poem of Bede the Priest Preface Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Appendix: The capitula lectionum on Revelation Ascribed to Bede Select Bibliography Index of Sources and Parallels General Index
Faith Wallis is Associate Professor in the Department of History at McGill University, Montreal.
[Faith Wallis's] translation is accurate and animated and she has done a splendid job of situating the work in the context of Bede's early writings on time and the millennium. Bede: Commentary on Revelation. Translated with introduction and notes by Faith Wallis. Translated Texts for Historians 58. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2013. Introduction, pp. 1-96, text, pp. 99-286, Appendix: The capitula lectionum on Revelation ascribed to Bede, pp. 287-91. ISBN 978-1-84631-845-0 George Hardin Brown Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305-2087 firstname.lastname@example.org It is ironic that of Bede's nineteen commentaries on Scripture his very first one written at the beginning of his career, this commentary on the Book of Revelation, has now received more careful and extensive scholarship than all the rest. In the past two years an eminent biblical scholar and editor has produced a superb edition of Bede's Commentary on Revelation and two fine scholars have produced translations. Roger Gryson's Bedae Presbyteri Expositio Apocalypseos, Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 121A (Turnhout: Brepols, 2001) is the best edition of all of Bede's commentaries. Now Faith Wallis, known for her Bedan scholarship, especially for Bede's The Reckoning of Time, has produced a translation of the Commentary with introduction and very informative notes that superbly complements Gryson's edition. Her accurate translation of Bede's work along with an informative commentary condenses Gryson's French and Latin notes and adds some additional references. William Weinrich, professor of historical theology at Concordia Seminary and an authority on women in church history, in Latin Commentaries on Revelation (2012), has provided introductions to and translations of four early Latin commentaries, by Victorinus, Apringius, Caesarius, and Bede. His translation of the latter is quite readable with only an occasional inappropriate word (e.g., "hotel" instead of "inn" for Augustine's "hospitio" in the Praefatio, 37), but Wallis's translation, besides being accurate and occasionally adding in brackets Bede's Latin wording, has the advantage of indicating by the use of italics and notes when Bede incorporates within his commentary (as he very frequently does in this early work) comments by patristic authorities such as Tyconius, Primasius, Gregory, and Augustine; her book also provides a Select Bibliography (pp. 292-308) and an excellent Index of Sources and Parallel Passages (pp. 309-17). Bede introduces his work with a verse epigraph, as he does for some of his other earlier works, but this is the only one to precede a biblical commentary. The preface is divided into two sections, the first one on the internal divisions or sections of Revelation (helpfully outlined in Wallis's Table 1 on pp. 62-64) and the second part on the method of interpretation of revelation as proposed by Tyconius. As was usual in his earlier commentaries, Bede takes each verse and provides a brief elucidation and commentary on each verse of Revelation. Bede shapes the meaning of the text by using Primasius and Tyconius and inserting appropriate passages from Augustine, Gregory, and Jerome. In his commentary Bede highlights and stresses a number of themes, such as the Last Judgment and the need for reform. Bede taking the concluding words of Revelation (22:21) to assault the Pelagians for trusting in their own virtues and the Donatists for their exclusivity, stresses that the Lord's grace should "be with you all." For readers who know Bede's works the question must arise: why did Bede, whose writings are seriously concerned about his world and the church but are certainly not apocalyptic, produce as his very first biblical treatise the Commentary on Revelation? Wallis takes up the issue in the section of the Introduction, Date and Circumstances of Composition. She points out that although Bede treats the future end of the world in the closing chapters of The Reckoning of Time and his poem On Judgment Day, "the end is near" for him is not to be taken too literally. In short, Bede gives no indication in the Commentary on Revelation that he was particularly concerned about the impending end of the world; but then, neither here nor elsewhere does he seem notably optimistic about the future of the Church" (p. 55). Bede was "firmly agnostic" on when the end would come, even in the presence of some ominous signs such as the spread of heresy and of Islam. So in his Commentary on Revelation he steers the reader away from an immanent cataclysmic view to a more judicious analysis that recognizes the some of the portents of the end have taken place but others have not. He composed his commentary to show (following Tyconius) that Revelation is not a coded blueprint for the endtimes scenario but a complex allegory of the life of the Church throughout the Sixth Age. Revelation is ongoing. A scholar who has Gryson's Latin edition and Wallis's detailed introduction and annotated translation at hand will be eminently equipped to read, understand, and reflect on Bede's Commentary on Revelation. Now Faith Wallis, known for her Bedan scholarship, especially for Bede's The Reckoning of Time, has produced a translation of the Commentary with introduction and very informative notes that superbly complements Gryson's edition. Her accurate translation of Bede's work along with an informative commentary condenses Gryson's French and Latin notes and adds some additional references. Wallis's translation, besides being accurate and occasionally adding in brackets Bede's Latin wording, has the advantage of indicating by the use of italics and notes when Bede incorporates within his commentary (as he very frequently does in this early work) comments by patristic authorities such as Tyconius, Primasius, Gregory, and Augustine; her book also provides a Select Bibliography and an excellent Index of Sources and Parallel Passages. A scholar who has Gryson's Latin edition and Wallis's detailed introduction and annotated translation at hand will be eminently equipped to read, understand, and reflect on Bede's Commentary on Revelation.